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Spanish morning announcements help ESOL students feel more included

Cinthya Salas

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It started two weeks before Homecoming, when ESOL Paraeducator Maria Decarballo started noticing that ESOL students knew little about activities going on around school.

“They didn’t even know they could vote for a Homecoming court,” Decarballo said. This realization led to her idea to provide announcements in Spanish. Decarballo’s concern led her to ask social studies teacher Katie Pesce for help to find a way they could make the idea come to life to make.

Spanish announcements started in November, this school year. It was only provided in Google Classroom. But students knew little about this. “Some of us didn’t know the code to join the classroom,” senior Helen Peraza said.

When Pesce and Decarballo noticed the little success that Spanish announcements had on Classroom they decided to ask for the support of principal Carol Goddard. Goddard provided her full support to the idea, getting more people involved to make Spanish morning happen like regular news for all students.

Later, media center technician Jamani Harris started helping with the recordings and the edits to provide them as morning announcements for all Watkins Mill students. This allowed Decarballo to have more time to get the students ready for recordings and translation. “I think we are making great progress,” Harris said about the success of the announcements in Spanish.

Behind the scenes, there is practice time for students to be ready to deliver the news for the rest of the school. Translation takes a lot of time outside of school hours. “Every time I get my hands on an announcement, I translate, but mostly on the weekends,” Decarballo added about the work behind the scenes.

ESOL students are benefiting from Spanish morning announcements. Freshman Carlos Aguirre said, “I feel happy to be helping other kids while also learning and getting involved in school.” Aguirre was the first student to deliver the announcements in Spanish.

“I think this is a great idea because it makes everyone feel included,” ESOL Paraeducator Ampara Quintanilla added.

 

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The student news site of Watkins Mill High School
Spanish morning announcements help ESOL students feel more included