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Ensuring that Home Culture is Celebrated, Not Erased

A historic strength of Catholic schools has been their ability to help students and families preserve their culture. Take a look at these five tips to help ensure that your school celebrates, not erases, cultural and linguistic heritage.

    1. Display images of holy men and women in your school that reflect the diversity of the human family. If you're looking for inspiration, check out the multi-cultural art work of Brother Mickey McGrath, O.S.B.

    2. Ensure that your library has content in students' home languages.Students who are more literate in their home language demonstrate greater academic success in English. Check out Scholastic Books' multitude of titles in Spanish.

    3. Weave home language and culture into school liturgical celebrations.Encourage students, teachers, and/or parents to proclaim a reading in Spanish. Teach everyone in the school to say "la paz esté contigo" at the kiss of peace. Invite families to decorate the altar in traditional textiles. To find Mass readings in Spanish, visit the USCCB's Readings En Español.

    4. Encourage parents to read to their children in their home language.Stress to parents that learning to speak and read Spanish well does not interfere with their children's ability to succeed in school. Colorin Colorado offers a series of free, printable reading guides for parents that are translated into several languages.

    5. Cultivate a school-wide belief that culturally and linguistically diverse children bless and grace your school.Consider developing a teacher-leader for your school through the ENL program.

Interested in ENL?

Learn more about the ENL Program by contacting Katy Lichon, Ph.D., at , or 574-631-2554.

Interested in the LEI?

Learn more about the LEI by contacting Manny Fernandez at , or 574-631-9434.