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Being bilingual can open many doors at both a personal and professional level. Being biliterate — or able to speak, read, and write two languages fluently — not only makes a person more competitive in the job market, but it also helps them become immersed in a second culture, which provides an opportunity to see our world through another lens.

Academically speaking, dual-language programs have been proven to lead to higher achievement across all grade levels. Research into the effects of a bilingual education shows that the brain is more active, more nimble, and better able to understand new concepts.

Dallas ISD’s extensive dual-language program offerings provide students an opportunity to master two languages, increase academic achievement, improve career options, live as global citizens, and prepare for a lifetime of learning.

Dallas ISD has the only schools that provide comprehensive dual-language education within the district’s boundaries. In fact, no private or parochial school has such an offering.

District 1 is proud to have several campuses that offer dual-language programs. While the dual-language programs in most of our schools are full, some campuses, such as Walnut Hill Elementary, Jerry R. Junkins Elementary, and George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary, still have a few spots available. Parents interested in the program are encouraged to visit the school of their preference as soon as possible to obtain application and enrollment information. To learn more about the dual-language program in Dallas ISD, visit: https://www.dallasisd.org/duallanguage.

In other news, I would like to thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation for helping Olssen Fuentes, a third-grader at Herbert Marcus Elementary, make his wish come true! The 10-year old asked for a day of going shopping as a celebration of being cancer free for almost a year now. Fuentes underwent through chemotherapy for a few months as part of his battle with leukemia. The Make-A-Wish foundation surprised Fuentes at school on Feb. 15, along with his classmates, teachers, and family. When Fuentes goes on his shopping spree in a few weeks, he knows the first thing he wants to get: an iPad. Thank you to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the school staff for providing Olssen and his family with love and support, and to Olssen, kudos for being such a brave boy!

Congratulations to Jean Infante, a student at William Cabell Elementary; Adrian Ortiz from George Hebert Walker Bush Elementary; and Foster Thames from Anne Frank Elementary, who are among the 18 Dallas ISD finalists to represent the district in the upcoming County Spelling Bee competition, which takes place Feb. 22. The finalists were the top spellers at the districtwide spelling bee that featured 138 students from 77 schools. The finalists will now compete for a chance to win more than $50,000 in scholarships and prizes at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Edwin Flores

—Edwin Flores is the District 1 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees

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