CDE Visits Family Biliteracy Program

CDE Visits Family Biliteracy Program

     Members of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Migrant Education Division recently visited the Mountain View School District to see the District’s Family Biliteracy Program in action.  MVSD’s program drew the interest of the CDE after the program’s creator, Dr. Fernando Rodriguez-Valls, an associate professor at Cal State University Fullerton, shared the District’s data analysis report with the state department of education.   Making the trip from Sacramento to join Dr. Rodriguez-Valls to see the dynamic family learning at two Mountain View schools were Celina Torres and Lizette Rocha from the CDE’s English Learner Support Division.     

     Proud to open their classrooms to showcase their program for the CDE’s visit were teachers Hannah Estes from Payne School and Rosanna Gonzalez from Twin Lakes School.  MVSD’s Family Biliteracy Program is a 12-week program where families attend once a week and are involved in family projects, engaging discussions and high levels of critical literacy in a bilingual setting.   The goals of the program are to increase the levels of biliteracy for participating families, enhance first language instruction and promote the idea of family as a unified learning unit.   During the weekly workshops, families enjoy learning together through hands-on, project based lessons, and reading books over the 12 weeks. 

    Currently, the CDE’s program is only presented in English and the three visitors were impressed with what they witnessed during their observation of the program in Mountain View, which is bilingual.  After seeing MVSD’s successful program, they are returning to Sacramento with the idea that they can promote Spanish as a viable component of the Family Biliteracy program. 

      “It was extremely important that the team from the state department saw our program in action and both schools did an incredible job,” said Angelica Sifuentes Donoso, MVSD’s Director of Family Engagement.    “The lessons Mrs. Estes and Mrs. Gonzalez taught were engaging, purposeful and bilingual.” 

       MVSD’s Family Biliteracy Program builds on literacy in the students’ first language which has resulted in growth in second language acquisition for both students and parents.  Throughout the program teachers model, differentiate and tailor biliteracy skills –reading, writing, speaking, listening and comprehending – across languages.  The projects created by students and their parents depict the commitment and effort to a multidimensional biliteracy. 

     “I am incredibly proud of our team and appreciate our principals from Payne and Twin Lakes for opening the doors to our community with this program and Mrs. Estes and Mrs. Gonzalez, for their passion, commitment, and belief in our families.  It’s very exciting that Mountain View has contributed to the successful implementation of a bilingual Family Biliteracy Program for our Migrant Families in the northern part of California,” added Sifuentes-Donoso.

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