Language Ambassadors by the Numbers
- 1st year of program
- 2 student recognition ceremonies: Watsonville and Santa Cruz
- 3 districts: Live Oak, Pacific and Pajaro Valley Unified
- 5 school giving awards: Green Acres, Hall District, Mintie White, Pacific, Starlight
- 7 languages; Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Hawaiian, Swahili, Yaqui
- 34 miles between schools
- 174 students honored as Language Ambassadors
The pride in the room was palpable as our first groups of Language Ambassadors were recognized. Language Ambassadors is a new student recognition program from the Santa Cruz COE designed to promote global education. The program recognizes that a twenty-first century education must prepare students for global citizenship and celebrates multilingualism as an asset for all.
Two recognition ceremonies were held to maximize participation. A packed Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) Board Room hosted proud parents, students and staff from Hall District, Mintie White and Starlight Elementary schools on May 17, 2017. PVUSD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez gave the opening remarks.
NABE Award Winner Honored
Antonia Rodriguez Rivera, a current 3rd grade student, was honored at the recognition ceremony for her second-place award in NABE’s (National Association of Bilingual Educators) 2016 video contest on multilingualism. Antonia’s video of the trilingual dictionary she created in Google docs, in English, Spanish and Mixtec, is an inspiring example of the type of project Language Ambassadors can create. It demonstrates the deep understanding of linguistics developed by such work. Her work illustrates the celebration of family, language and culture that the program aspires to and serves as inspiration for many. Antonia and her mother were introduced trilingually, in Mixtec, Spanish and English by PVUSD Language Support Liaison Natalia Cruz and Language Assessment Resource Center Coordinator Ariel Benson.
A second event was held on May 18, 2018 as part of the Santa Cruz COE Board meeting to honor students from Pacific Elementary and Green Acres Elementary. Though only a small group of students and families were able to attend, they were warmly greeted by COE board members and a full room of audience members.
Plans are already underway for next year’s program and ceremonies. For more information, please contact Sofia Sorensen.