Do you have any questions?
For more information, please come and join our info session on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:00pm at this online meeting link.
The Amherst Regional Public Schools value the linguistic diversity of our community. To celebrate the assets of multilingualism and to promote sustained English language, native language, heritage language, and global language learning, the Amherst Regional School District is excited to announce, once again, a new language initiative called the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded by the state department of education and local school districts to recognize students who attain proficiency in English, as well as one or more additional languages learned in school or another setting. Biliteracy is defined as having a functional level of proficiency in each language, and there are various levels of biliteracy. Student biliteracy will be measured through participation in language assessments. This recognition will be included with students’ high school transcripts and diplomas and serves to certify attainment of a student’s biliteracy for employers and universities.
ARPS will be offering the official State Seal of Biliteracy to graduating seniors in spring of 2022, as well as Biliteracy Pathway Awards to students in grades 5, 6 and 8. Biliteracy Pathway Awards are administered by a statewide consortium called the Language Opportunity Coalition. This coalition created additional award opportunities to encourage long-term language study by recognizing and rewarding language learning in elementary, middle and high school. In addition to offering an opportunity for students to demonstrate and be honored for their language proficiency, the district is excited to launch enrichment opportunities (parent/child reading clubs, tutoring, and Biliteracy club at the secondary level) to help students cultivate their languages across all grade levels. We are looking for parent, staff and community members to support this exciting program!
ARHS Biliteracy Club meets on Thursday from 3:45 PM to 4:45 PM in room 145, contact Violeta Hernandez Duran at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
ARMS Biliteracy Club TBD, contact Glorimar Estevez at email@example.com to join.
Elementary Biliteracy Club: meets on Tuesdays from 2:45-5:00 PM starting on January 10, 2023, contact Debora Borges de Macedo at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members: Click here to let us know if you are interested and to receive updates. We are looking for multilingual:
- Students interested in earning these awards of participating in language enrichment activities at all grade levels
- Parents interested in supporting their students to participate and/ or volunteering
- Staff members interested in supporting this work
- Community members interested in volunteering with our students
Biliteracy Awards Info
- ARPS Seal of Biliteracy and Pathway Awards
- ARPS Seal of Biliteracy School Committee Presentation
- ACTFL Proficiency Levels- Beach Talk
Free Multilingual Online Libraries
- Unite for Literacy: Early Learning eBooks: More than 100 original ebooks carefully crafted to connect with young children and their families. Books are written in English and include audio narration in English and 28 languages.
- Worldstories: A growing collection of short stories including retold traditional tales and new short stories from around the world. The stories can be read and listened to online, or downloaded and they’re all free!
- International Children’s Online Library: A searchable library of digital children’s books in more than 50 languages.
- Rosetta Project: Books in Multiple Languages: Digital books in more than 40 languages.
Listen here for a community conversation with UMASS students Alondra Esparza, Mildred-Maria Reyes, Cristian Luna-Robinson and Natalee Paredes about their experiences growing up bilingual and bicultural. The conversation is facilitated by Diego Sharon, principal of Amherst Regional Middle School, and Danielle Thomas, Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at UMASS Amherst.
For additional iformation, please contact the Biliteracy Coordinators:
- ARHS: Oumy Cissé, email@example.com
- ARMS: Alisa Clements, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elementary: Sylvia Fisher, email@example.com
- Volunteer Coordinator: Daniela Narvaez Burbano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julissa Reyes Alvarado, a bilingual student at Fort River elementary school, talks about what being bilingual means to them. They say: “That gives me the opportunity to know different cultures and communicate with my family out[side] of [the] USA. I am proud of my Mexican and Salvadorian roots.”
Milena Sedrakyan, a multilingual ARHS student, reflects on why it’s important to know their home language. They say: “It’s such a good way to connect to your heritage… to connect with your culture… where you’re from.”