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Esperanza Elementary recognized by New Mexico legislature

Farmington school receives award for bilingual multicultural program

Last week, Esperanza Elementary School in Farmington was invited to the state legislature in Santa Fe to be recognized with an award for its bilingual multicultural program.

Bilingual Education Day celebrates the cultural and linguistic heritage of New Mexico. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Bilingual Multicultural Education Act of 1973. The event was hosted by New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education and Public Education Department Language and Culture Department.

New Mexico was the first state in the United States to adopt a Bilingual Multicultural Education Act. The law provides local districts with funds to implement bilingual multicultural instructional programs that provide students with opportunities to expand their conceptual and linguistic abilities while learning to value diversity.

Accepting the Bilingual Multicultural Education Program recognition award were Navajo teacher Louise Ramone, Spanish teacher Rebecca Dierdorf, Esperanza Elementary School Assistant Principal Trisha Bejar and Executive Director of Support Services Nathan Pierantoni.

“The bilingual program at Esperanza is successful because of the collaboration of all teachers to help promote and motivate students to pursue excellence in their heritage language. This includes all staff, from custodial workers to administrators,” Dierdorf said. “We also have a great supportive community. Our students are very proud of their Heritage language and culture. There is a saying that I like, ‘El que habla dos idiomas, vale por dos.’ This means, he who speaks two languages is worth two.”