Education

Letter to Commissioner Infante-Green

Dear Commissioner Infante-Green:

(español abajo)

As a strong supporter of multilingual learners, we are honored to welcome you to Rhode Island. We are a coalition of organizations dedicated to creating an educational environment where all students are building on their rich linguistic and cultural strengths. We look forward to working with you and we offer these brief reflections about our vision for a multilingual Rhode Island. 

First and foremost, we envision a Rhode Island public school system where all students have access to dual language programs and the opportunity to learn in multiple languages — spoken, signed, and classical — from pre-K to college. We envision a future where every English speaking child learns a second language from preschool on, and every English learner learns English while attaining full literacy in their native language. We hope to see a Rhode Island that is the first truly multilingual state. 

We are following your leadership and will continue to support educational leaders and lawmakers to strengthen their own commitment to culturally sustaining pedagogies and educational equity. We believe that this transformational moment in our state’s history demands innovative ideas. We imagine a pipeline for preparing a multilingual teacher workforce drawing from our local communities and the native countries of our students and a sustainable coordination of professional development and resource cultivation across districts. We believe this must involve a network of community-based organizations generated by youth, parents and more that promote diverse identities and new economic opportunities at the cross section between local and global markets. 

Rhode Island will be the pioneer for a fully multilingual education system that encourages students to enter leading career fields as global citizens and, to more importantly, tap into the fundamentals of human empathy and deepen our intercultural understanding. We offer these ideas as the beginning of a dialogue that seeks to collaborate and guide the Rhode Island Department of Education to serve and draw from the wealth of linguistic and educational knowledge inherent in our communities and abroad so every student can take on the global challenges of the 21st century and beyond. 

We can do this all — in the little state of Rhode Island. 

Estimada Comisionada Infante-Green:

Como defensores firmes de los estudiantes multilingües, nos sentimos honrados de darle la bienvenida a Rhode Island. Somos una coalición de organizaciones dedicadas a crear un entorno educativo en el que todos los estudiantes puedan desarrollar su  fortalezas lingüísticas y riqueza cultural. Esperamos trabajar con usted y ofrecerle estas breves reflexiones sobre nuestra visión de un Rhode Island multilingüe.

Antes que nada, imaginamos un sistema educativo público en Rhode Island donde todos los estudiantes tengan acceso a programas de lenguaje dual y la oportunidad de aprender en varios idiomas en forma hablada, de señas y clásica, desde preescolar hasta la universidad. Imaginamos un futuro en el cual todos los niños de habla inglesa aprendan un segundo idioma desde la etapa preescolar, y en el que cada estudiante aprendiendo inglés pueda al mismo tiempo obtener una alfabetización completa en su idioma nativo. Esperamos ver un Rhode Island que sea el primer estado verdaderamente multilingüe.

Continuaremos apoyando su liderazgo e incentivando a líderes educativos y a legisladores para que fortalezcan su propio compromiso con las pedagogías culturales sostenidas y la equidad educativa. Creemos que este momento de transformación en la historia de nuestro estado exige ideas innovadoras. Imaginamos un plan para preparar una fuerza de trabajo docente multilingüe que salga de nuestras comunidades locales y de los países nativos de nuestros estudiantes, y una coordinación sostenible de desarrollo profesional y cultivacion de recursos en los distritos del estado. Creemos que esto debe involucrar una red de organizaciones comunitarias generadas por jóvenes, padres y demás que promuevan diversas identidades y nuevas oportunidades económicas en la intersección entre los mercados locales y globales.

Rhode Island será el pionero de un sistema educativo totalmente multilingüe que aliente a los estudiantes a ingresar a los campos profesionales más importantes como ciudadanos globales y, lo que es más importante, aprovechar los fundamentos de la empatía humana y profundizar nuestra comprensión intercultural. Ofrecemos estas ideas como el inicio de un diálogo que busca colaborar y guiar al Departamento de Educación de Rhode Island para servir y aprovechar la riqueza del conocimiento lingüístico y educativo inherente en nuestras comunidades y en el extranjero para que cada estudiante pueda asumir los desafíos globales del siglo XXI y más allá.

Podemos hacer todo esto, en el pequeño estado de Rhode Island.

Sinceramente/Yours, 

Erin L. Papa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, World Languages Education

Rhode Island College

Veronika Kot, Esq.

Education Law Attorney

Rhode Island Legal Services

Christopher Sanacore, M.A.  

Checkmate Consulting Group 

Christopher McLaughlin

Touring Professional

Amy Maslyn

Director

New Era Enrichment Academy

Adriana Neira

Student

University of Rhode Island

Becky Klassen

Spanish Teacher/Assistant Professor, Henry Barnard School

Rhode Island College

Brad Hevenor

Parent of DLI Student, Peace Dale Elementary School

Rachel Dahl

South Kingstown DLI Program

Beth Voilette 

Green Building Consultant

Sustainable Design Consulting

Christian Andrade 

Andrew Corsini

President

Supfina Machine Company, Inc.

Jeff Foye

Parent of DLI Student, Peace Dale Elementary School

Adrienne Jones Daly

Parent of DLI Student, Peace Dale Elementary School

Michaela McCaughey

Spanish Teacher & Dual Enrollment Coordinator 

TAPA: Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts

Melissa Jenkins Ph.D.

Medical Director 

BrainworksRI

Sigrid Berka, Ph.D.

Executive Director, International Engineering Program (IEP)

University of Rhode Island

Nancy Maguire Heath

Director

RI School for the Deaf

Shirley X Moore 

Parent of DLI student at Nathanael Greene

Owner of Be Moore Interpreting

Alexis Robbins 

Artistic Director/Choreographer 

kamrDANCE

Debra Rodgers

Clinician

The Providence Center

Michelangelo la Luna 

Professor 

University of Rhode Island

Abdelnasser Hussein

Head of School 

Islamic School of Rhode Island

Catherine Hidalgo

Parks and Recreation Coordinator

City of Central Falls

Bryant A. Estrada

Mathematics Teacher

Blackstone Academy Charter School

Tracey Giron 

Director of Parks & Recreation & Community Services 

City of Central Falls 

Astrid Gabriel

Karey Bouvier

ESL teacher 

Providence Public School Department

Eliesel Morales 

Video Producer

Steer Digital Media

Laurilim Rosado Martinez

Presidente 

Mujeres Positivas

Elizabeth A Morais

Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Community College of RI

Britney Dias

Karen Papa

Classroom Volunteer, DLI Kindergarten

Peace Dale Elementary, South Kingstown

Dorca M. Paulino

Diversity Director

Rhode Island Supreme Court

Stephanie Olarte

Founder/ Executive Director

Caneiwalk

LeAnne Spino-Seijas

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Proficiency Coordinator

The University of Rhode Island

Eileen Daly

DLI kindergarten teacher

Peace Dale Elementary School 

John P. Boyle, CPA

Audit Semi-Senior 

CBIZ/MHM

Jesús de la Torre

DLI Spanish Kindergarten Teacher

Peace Dale Elementary School

Peter Jones

Family Therapist

Clinical and Support Options inc.

Yasmine Lima

Victoria Rodriguez

Community Organizer

Janet Smith

Classroom Volunteer

Peace Dale Elementary School DLI Program

Shirley X. Moore

Parent of DLI Student at Nathanael Greene Elementary

Founder of Be Moore Interpreting 

Yasmin Peña

DLI Spanish Immersion Teacher

South Kingstown School District

Jess Evora

Founder

RANJAnow.org

Sol Hernandez

DLI Grade 1 Spanish teacher 

South Kingstown High School 

Jessica Vega

Councilwoman 

Central Falls City Council

Nathan Carpenter

Chair 

Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America

María Rivera

President 

Central Falls City Council 

Daniella Magana 

Central Falls Resident 

Katie Nerstheimer

English Learner Teacher and DLI parent

South Kingstown School Department

Marcela Betancur

Executive Director

Latino Policy Institute

Rep. Karen Alzate

City of Pawtucket

Gabrielle Porcaro 

DLI Grade 2 Teacher 

Peace Dale Elementary School 

Melanie Petrichko

Kindergarten DLI Teacher- English

WKES, South Kingstown School District

Yamil Baez

Terri McKinney

First Grade DLI teacher

Peace Dale Elementary

Keith Catone

Executive Director

Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE)

Katherine Lang

South Kingstown, RI

Rachel Toncelli

Assistant Professor, TESOL Program

Rhode Island College

Andrea

Teacher, BVP

Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi, PhD

Associate Professor, Engineering and DLI Parent

University of Rhode Island

Dalila Torres

Third Grade Spanish Teacher 

PEACE DALE ELEMENTARY

Rabia Hos

Assistant Professor, TESOL and Dual Language Education

University of Rhode Island

Nilson DaSilva

Spanish and Portuguese Teacher

Central Falls High School

Kristin Tisdale

Teacher of Spanish/DLI Parent West Kingston Elementary 

Portsmouth Schools

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Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.