Dual language education gains momentum at APS
Annie Rodriguez understands the importance of language. When she came to Clovis, N.M. from Guatemala with her brother, sisters and parents at the age of 9, escaping a civil war, she learned that language determined her place in life. The fact that her family spoke Spanish, and not English, meant that she and her siblings, for the first few years of their U.S. schooling, would be placed in classes years below their grade level. It meant that her mother, who was a midwife and nurse in Guatemala, would divide her days between working around town as a hospital aid, and going to school, trying to learn English. It meant that her father, who was a minister before coming to the U.S., would earn money for his family by doing the laundry at a local rest home. And it meant that, one day, Annie would grow up and dedicate herself to language, to teaching and to early childhood development—because she understood the importance of getting a good start.