English-Language Learners

St. Paul Schools Get Culture Kits

By Mary Ann Zehr — July 26, 2005 1 min read
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The St. Paul, Minn., school system has been producing resource kits that its teachers can use to teach about the cultures of the city’s largest immigrant groups: Hmong, Somali, and Latino.

Teachers are already using kits about Hmong and Somali cultures. This coming school year, the 42,000-student district plans to add a kit about cultures in Spanish-speaking countries.

“The goal is to provide teachers and staff with information about the cultural background of our students so they have everything in one place and don’t have to go and research the information,” said Valeria Silva, the director of programs for the district’s 19,000 English-language learners.

The intent, she said, is to teach children who aren’t immigrants about the culture of classmates and also encourage children who aren’t part of the dominant American culture to feel pride in their cultural heritages.

The kits come with lesson plans, books, clothing, and other items.

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