WORCESTER – Wednesday, August 16, 2023 – The Worcester Public Schools (WPS) will host its fourth-annual Embracing Multilingualism Conference at South High Community School on Wednesday, August 23, for educators and families of students in multilingual programs. Conference workshops for families will be held in English and Spanish.
Montserrat Garibay, the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of English Language Acquisition for the U.S. Department of Education, will provide closing keynote remarks. Ms. Garibay is expected to speak about federal multilingual education initiatives.
Juliana Urtubey, the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, will provide opening keynote remarks. Her speech will describe a “joyful and just” education for multilingual learners with an emphasis on using a student’s multilingualism as an asset.
Yuyi Morales, a Mexican-American children’s author and illustrator, will also participate in the conference. She will share her 2018 book, Dreamers, with participants and will hold writing and illustration workshops with both families and educators. In 2015, Morales received the Caldecott honor for her book, Viva Frida.
The purpose of the conference is to provide a day of professional development for teachers, coaches, administrators, paraeducators, and counselors in multilingual programs, such as Dual Language, Sheltered English Immersion, and Transitional Bilingual Education.
For families in our bilingual programs, child-friendly activities include a storytelling workshop with Morales, a music workshop, and a lion dance.
“Communicating in multiple languages is truly an asset, both for the students and for their communities,” said Rachel H. Monárrez, Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools, who is bilingual and a former English as a Second Language teacher and director. “Being multilingual broadens our perspectives and opens up a world of opportunities in education, careers, and cultures.”