The 4th edition of the Multilingual Education Fair, held on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 welcomed a community of families, educators, young adults, college students, employers, and other community members from 5 countries, 14 states, and all 8 wards of the District of Columbia. The 145 exhibitors represented over 18 languages, including Spanish, French, Bulgarian, Mandarin, Arabic, Amharic, Indonesian, German and American Sign Language.  

Created in 2017 out of the need to put resources to grow multilingual children at the fingertips of underserved communities, the Multilingual Education Fair of DC, organized in partnership with the Mayor’s offices, agencies, and with the key education institutions of the District has grown beyond our wildest dreams. The fair has become the biggest free event of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Attendees enjoyed learning about existing and new resources such as language schools, instructional materials/resources for teachers, heritage culture and language, after school/weekend/summer programs, travel exchange plus so much more. 95% of attendees found the fair to be a valuable experience and learned about new resources, and 97% of attendees plan to use these resources to increase access to language learning for their families and communities.

Nurturing a multilingual ecosystem also means connecting language service providers to other multilingual leaders to uplift one another and foster growth. 88% of exhibitors made important connections, they also enjoyed “meeting so many diverse people” and commented on how “it was great to connect with many middle/high school teachers and administrators.” 88% of exhibitors expressed interest in being involved with DC Immersion in future projects and events to advance equity in multilingual education. This coalition grows every day.

This growth would not be possible without the support our sponsors – ACTFL, Qatar Foundation International, Jeenie, or the support of our institutional partners: District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB), Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), District of Columbia State Board of Education (DCSBOE), Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs (MOLA), Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (MOAA), Mayor’s office on Asian and Pacific Islanders Affairs (MOAPIA), District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, Alexandria City Public Schools and Delaware Department of Education.

A special thank you to the Roosevelt High School team for hosting us! We could not have wished for a more welcoming and hard-working group of people. A huge thank you to the entire DCPS staff and to Chancellor Ferebee for their support in every step of the way.   

To our amazing volunteers, thank you for being so generous with your time and wearing our t-shirts so proudly. We look forward to spotting them out in the wild!  

Lastly, thank you to all those that participated, attended, tweeted, shared, counseled and believed! Our multilingual voices keep getting louder. 

See you at the next one!!!

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