Tahoe parents introduced to Kings Beach two-way immersion program
KINGS BEACH, Calif.and#8212; Packed tightly in seats, standing against walls and wedged snugly around tables, a gathering of Spanish- and English-speaking parents and teachers met last week to discuss Kings Beach Elementaryand#8217;s two-way immersion program for English Learners.
Parents hosted the Thursday event at Kings Beach Elementary. After parents viewed the documentary and#8220;Speaking in Tongues,and#8221; which chronicles students in San Franciscoand#8217;s TWI programs, TWI teachers presented statistics and facts about the program.
and#8220;We wanted to make sure both English and Spanish speaking families understand the benefits for our community and just how immersion programs work,and#8221; said Sara Shorin, parent and co-coordinator for the event.
TWI is more than just a basic foreign language class, Shorin said, because it enrolls children at an early age in both a foreign-language and English-speaking class, with a goal of complete bilingualism by the time they exit.
and#8220;The reconfiguration last year involving two-way immersion became a topic on a lot of peopleand#8217;s minds, and there were a lot of misunderstandings,and#8221; said Kings Beach Elementary Principal Eileen Fahrner
She referred to last yearand#8217;s reconfiguration in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District that turned Kings Beach Elementary into a K-3 two-way, immersion-only program and Tahoe Lake Elementary as a K-3 English-only program, with North Tahoe Middle School compensating as a 4-8 site.
and#8220;A few of the parents and I watched what went on for the past year, putting the schools together, and I felt every time I went to a district meeting there wasnand#8217;t an understanding of what goes on in Kings Beach,and#8221; said Souki Powell, the other co-coordinator of the event.
The night was organized by parents, for parents, Powell said, and saw more than 60 parents and teachers in attendance.
Jamie Schwartz, a second-grade teacher at the school, said while the program may not be for everyone, the event served as a way to remind parents there are choices when it comes to giving their children a bilingual education.
and#8220;Now thereand#8217;s quite a bit of research that children who learn in their primary language to access content in a second language have a higher learning curve,and#8221; she said. and#8220;We just want to be transparent about what weand#8217;re doing so people get the facts.and#8221;
Among the many parents sitting in the audience Thursday night at KBE was Pedro Brito, a Spanish speaker with two girls enrolled in the TWI program.
and#8220;I feel good after listening to the presentation, because both teachers and parents are searching for a way to help our students,and#8221; Brito said in Spanish.
He said heand#8217;s proud of his girls who now have the opportunities he wished heand#8217;d had growing up.
and#8220;This program is helping my girls not just in Spanish but in English as well and at an advanced leveland#8221; he said.
One day, Brito said he hopes his daughters will understand just how much theyand#8217;ve overcome and accomplished.
and#8220;Not everyone has this opportunity,and#8221; he said.
Anyone seeking information about the program can call the school at (530)-546-2605.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Swift Communications — the parent company of The Union, Sierra Sun and other newspapers — is selling its local media and publishing businesses to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers, the companies announced Tuesday morning.