More than one hundred students are learning in both English and Spanish at Frederick Douglass Elementary School. Students in Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade participate in our Dual Language Immersion Program. In this program children get the opportunity to learn another language early on by receiving 50% of instruction delivered in Spanish, and 50% delivered in English. Students enrolled in the program are being taught Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts in English, and Math and Language Arts in Spanish.
This approach provides an enriching learning environment for all students and builds greater cultural awareness and respect. During the last decade, multiple research studies have demonstrated the significant cognitive benefits derived from early language learning, as well as the potential long-term educational and career benefits that multilingual students accrue.
We are incredibly thankful to have an amazing staff from around the world available here at Frederick Douglass for this program. Yasiria Rodriguez is the pre-Kindergarten teacher and is originally from Puerto Rico. Paula Petrowitsch and Patricia Bliss serve as the dual language Kindergarten teachers, and both are from Chile. Marianne Godoy teaches first-grade. Marianne is from Venezuela, but she also lived in Columbia. Teresita Echenique is the second grade teacher who is from Chile. Aida Fernandez is the third grade dual language teacher from Spain.
Our current plan is to expand the program by one grade each year to provide students an enriching experience for the entire time they are at Frederick Douglass Elementary School.