Enhanced Support for English Language Learner Families

Lee listening to Somerville families concerns

Lee listening to the concerns of Somerville familes

As a fluent Spanish speaker, professional interpreter, and bilingual attorney, I hope to represent members of our community whose voices are not heard enough at the School Committee. In doing so, I hope to extend the project I completed with SomerPromise, a department of the city, that surveyed the multilingual services we offer to residents, including the fantastic program run through the Parent Information Center as part of the Somerville Public Schools, and SomerViva, a vital part of the Communications and Outreach Department of the city.

I understand the incredible challenges language and cultural barriers can create, not just for Spanish speakers, but for all limited English proficient families in our public schools.

Yet this diversity of languages spoken in our public schools as an incredible opportunity for our community. Our schools must continue to work hard to ensure language and cultural barriers are overcome so all families can participate fully in our schools. I will work hard to celebrate our diversity while ensuring that all families feel comfortable communicating their questions and concerns throughout the district.

I will also work to support and expand UNIDOS, an innovative two-way English/Spanish language and cultural immersion program housed at the East Somerville Community School, where my son now attends Kindergarten. This, along with expanded language instruction in after-school programming and at other neighborhood schools, will be a priority of mine moving forward if elected to the School Committee.