Kentucky School Leader - Fall 2012 - (Page 14)
Building a Bridge
By Catherine Rogers, Director of Public Relations Rowan County Schools
n the made-for-TV adaptation of Peanuts, Charles Schulz’s long-running comic strip, Charlie Brown’s teacher could never be understood by the viewer, always sounding as if she were saying, “Wah-wah-wah-wahwah.” For some preschool students at the Rowan County Preschool and Early Education Center, their teacher, Nikki Scott, may have sounded exactly like Charlie Brown’s teacher, all because of a language barrier. Preschool is where students come to learn letters, numbers, colors, and other basic skills that will help them as they start out on their road to an education. For some students, though, that road is blocked when they have the added task of learning another language – English – while trying to keep up with their classmates. This
can be a daunting challenge for a teacher, especially when she cannot understand her students or the students’ parents. This was exactly the challenge facing Nikki Scott this year, but thanks to the RCSHS Career Cohort Program and high-school senior, Lorenzo Delgado, a bridge is being built, so to speak, between Mrs. Scott and some of her students. After looking over her class lists and seeing that she would need some assistance with translation for several students and their parents, Mrs. Scott contacted the high school, hoping that there would be a high school student with the Spanish language ability to help. RCSHS business teacher Cindy Rhodes was just the person to offer the needed assistance. Ms. Rhodes supervises the school’s Career Cohort program, which pairs students with businesses and organizations
A language barrier can also prove to be a barrier for social interaction.
around the community to give students valuable career experience. Ms. Rhodes paired RCSHS senior Lorenzo Delgado with Nikki Scott at the Rowan County Preschool and Early Education Center. “I wasn’t sure how this would work at first. I think I was nervous when Lorenzo first came to my classroom,” said Mrs. Scott. “Now, though, it’s as if Lorenzo has always been here. He knows exactly what to do and how to help the students who need help with their English.” Every Monday through Thursday af ternoon, Lorenzo Delgado spends time helping several students in Mrs. Scott’s preschool classroom become more familiar with the English language, translating directions or stories, and even teaching the other students some basic Spanish. Not only does Lorenzo help with classroom activities with both the Spanish and non-Spanish speaking students, he also helps the teachers by either translating notes to parents or speaking with parents on behalf of the teachers.
Using a Mr. Potato Head toy, Lorenzo Delgado, right, helped preschooler Miguel Tomás-Antonio learn the English words for various body parts.
14 • Kentucky School Leader Fall 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kentucky School Leader - Fall 2012
2012 Fred Award Winner: Jon Foote
2012 Leadership Awards
Hearts of Grace
President’s View: Caring for the Whole Child
Building a Bridge
2012 Student Video Contest
Lawrence County: Working Together for the Community
Breckinridge County Backpack Program
From the Executive Director’s Desk: How Much Should Schools Do?
Index of Advertisers/Advertisers.com
Kentucky School Leader - Fall 2012