Beyond the Bell: Let's Connect Through Language

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Beyond the Bell: Let's Connect Through Language
Posted on 02/13/2018
Authored by Gray Jack

Ms. Karen Conner, a first grade teacher at Buckingham Elementary School, created this afterschool club for the first session of their C.A.R.E. After School Academy. The club began with 11 students and has increased to 19 for the second session. Native English speakers and Non-Native English speakers are given an opportunity to use DuoLingo or Rosetta Stone to build literacy in Spanish, English, or another language. To continue to build literacy, students also participate in bilingual read-alouds and recordings. Their interactive culture learning projects, bilingual cookbook, bilingual labeling, Three Kinds Day, and Chinese New Year experiences created and shared with Pre-K, as well as researching Spanish-speaking countries to create a mystery country bag, help celebrate the diverse cultures represented at BES. Increased involvement in school activities, outreach to parents and increased achievement have been positive benefits, as a result of this exciting program.

The program is funded through a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. You can support local afterschool programs like this through volunteerism, advocacy and in-kind donations. For more information about or to offer support for WCPS afterschool programs, contact Tamara Mills at

Beyond the Bell: Afterschool Success Stories is a new weekly web featurette showcasing the opportunities offered to students through afterschool programs across the county. Beyond the Bell is published every Tuesday.