STOCKTON, CA- Eighty San Joaquin County high school seniors were recognized as the first class in the county to receive the “State Seal of Biliteracy Award” in a ceremony held at the San Joaquin Office of Education on Thursday, April 26.
Santiago Heron, one of the eighty students that received the “State Seal of Biliteracy Award” at the San Joaquin Office of Education. “It is a brand new program in our state. Governor Jerry Brown signed this new law in November of last year,” explained Deputy Superintendent, Gary Dei Rossi. “The State Seal of Biliteracy award was established to recognize high school graduates who attained a high level proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in more than one language other than English.” One of the purposes of the award is to encourage students to study other languages and to affirm the value of diversity in the community.
Jose Rodriguez, Executive Director of El Concilio, speaks at the Biliteracy Awards. “As a person that speaks more than one language and hires people that are bilingual, I have seen the benefits of speaking more than one language both personally and professionally, and the fact that you are bilingual means that you will experience these benefits as well,” said Executive Director of El Concilio, Jose Rodriguez.
Middle School students and elementary students were also recognized for their bilingual abilities at the ceremony. One of them was 8th grader Lilia Frank. “Learning two languages is crucial in our community. Being able to speak both in English and Spanish has definitely helped me to better understand the people around me,” said Frank.
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