On Saturday, February 20, 2016 DC Language Immersion Project, DC Public Library and DC State Board of Education hosted Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity sponsored by Alliance Française DC and Quebec Bureau.
The forum explored the value of language in a global economy requiring bilingual skills and increased cultural competency. Parents, students, community members, advocates, and the media learned more about language immersion programs in DC public schools – both traditional and charter, including through a hands-on exhibit from E.W. Stokes Public Charter School. The event included a panel and Q&A moderated by WUSA9 Reporter Delia Gonçalves and featuring local business owners, parents, teachers from dual language programs, the Foreign Service, and graduates of DCPS.
Special thanks to : ANC7D, ANC7C, Ward 7 Education Council, DC Center for Global Education and Leadership, Penn Branch Civic Association, Deanwood Citizens Association, Globalize DC, and US Representative Franklin Garcia
- Welcome and Introduction to Moderator
Brenda Richardson, Board Member, DC Public Library (@DCPL)
- Introduction from DC State Board of Education
Karen Williams, Ward 7 Member and Vice President (@DCSBOE, @karenwill5sboe)
- Opening Remarks from Alliance Française
Dr. Gerard Beck, Deputy and Academic Director at Alliance Française (@FranceDC)
- Introduction of Panelists
Delia Gonçalves, WUSA9 Reporter (@9NewsDelia, @wusa9)
- Lead with Languages Video, ACTFL (@ACTFL)
- Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity
Andy Shallal, Chair of DC Workforce Investment Council and Owner of Busboys and Poets (@andyshallal, @busboysandpoets)
- The Power of Bilingualism in a Globalized Economy
Jacqueline Mourot, Foreign Service Officer (@StateDept, @lilglobetrotter)
- How Learning Mandarin Changed My Life Trajectory
Juanique McNeill, Student, Concordia University (@JuaniqueMcNeill, @BeyondtheWall5)
- How Dual Language Immersion Works: An Interactive Session
Madame Vony Rakotomaniraka, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Communtiy Freedom Charter School (@StokesSchool)
- Why I Want Immersion for My Daughter and How My Ward 7 Community Made it Happen
Jimell Sanders,DC Language Immersion Project Co-Founder/Director of Engagement and future Houston DCPS parent (@JimellSanders)
- Q&A and Discussion
Frederic Tremblay, Director of Quebec Bureau (@QcWashington)
- Closing and Thank You
DC Language Immersion Project (@dcimmersion)
Delia Goncalves: (Gone-solves) is a reporter for WUSA9 joining the team in June 2009. Delia’s journalism career spans 16 years and has brought her from her native New England to The Mid-Atlantic where she was named Baltimore’s Best Reporter in 2007. Delia is a first generation Cape Verdean American and a proud parent at Anne Beers Elementary School. She lives in Ward 7 with her husband and three daughters. Connect with Delia on Twitter: @9newsdelia.
Andy Shallal: Anas “Andy” Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Busboys and Poets and Mulebone Restaurant. Both restaurant concepts create an environment where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted. With 6 locations in the Washington Metropolitan Area, Busboys and Poets has become home for progressives, artists and intellectuals including such notables as Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Alice Walker and Nikki Giovanni to name a few. Andy has also founded or co-founded several peace and justice organizations and serves on the board of several organizations. Most recently, Andy was appointed by Mayor Bowser to head the Workforce Investment Council, an advisory board for the Mayor on how to spend workforce development dollars more effectively. Shallal continues to strive to make his hometown of Washington DC a more livable community. Connect with Andy on Twitter: @andyshallal
Jacqueline Mourot: Jacqueline works for the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer and has served as a U.S. diplomat overseas in Ecuador and Guyana. She is currently working in D.C. at the U.S. Department State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the new U.S. Study Abroad Branch. This summer she will move to her next assignment as the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana. Prior to joining the State Department she worked in international education program management and development at the higher education level. She has a B.A in French Studies and Art from Colby College and an Ed.M in International Intercultural Education from Harvard University. She speaks French and Spanish and is the mother of five bilingual children, four of whom attend Lycée Rochambeau, the French International School. Connect with Jacqueline on Twitter: @lilglobetrotter
Juanique McNeill: Growing up in SE Washington DC, Juanique McNeill’s life has been an exemplary tale of what it truly means to overcome adversity. She attended both McKinley Technology HS and Anacostia SHS. While at Anacostia she received a full scholarship to go to Beijing, China through Americans Promoting Study Abroad, for two consecutive summers. Her experience in China has been featured in the documentary film, “Beyond the Wall” and the documentary series “Find your China.” Juanique is currently pursuing her Master’s in International Business at Concordia University Irvine. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. She currently volunteers with Globalize DC and 100,000 Strong Foundation, to help students like herself from underrepresented communities obtain the opportunity to study abroad. She hopes to combine her passion for travel and community outreach with her cross-cultural skills after completing her graduate studies. Connect with Juanique on Twitter: @JuaniqueMcNeill.
Vony Rakotomaniraka: Madame Rakotomaniraka is a ten year veteran teacher at ELSIE WHITLOW STOKES SCHOOL PCS in Washington, DC where she is a French Target Language Teacher. In this role Rakotomaniraka provides content-area instruction and manages classrooms of Pre-K through second grade students, in a bilingual French/English Immersion program. She works to creat create targeted interventions for struggling or advanced students. Rakotomaniraka supports the school in the presentation of French speaking cultural awareness for all students enrolled in the French immersion program with a special focus on books and reading activities including with the Alliance Française.
Jimell Sanders: Jimell is co-founder of DC Language Immersion Project, and Director of Engagement, is a federal employee by day and a force for civic good the rest of the time. Sanders currently works as a Health Systems Specialist for the Department of Defense. She has over 15 years experience in the fields of healthcare and clinical research. She received her Bachelor Degree in Anthropology from Emory University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Ashford University. Ms. Sanders has developed a strong commitment to improving her local community, specifically education opportunities, through her work with local nonprofits. She lives in ward 7 and is the joined at the hip with Layla, a soon to be Houston Elementary DCPS immersion program student. Connect with Jimell on Twitter @JimellSanders.