About $1 million in federal money will be used to fund a five-year program to help Latino youngsters gain language skills.
The program, which begins July 1, will target students in kindergarten through second grade whose primary language is Spanish, said Gail Reed, director of the project.
“If a student has strong Spanish skills, they usually make the transition very quickly and easily into English,” Reed said. “But many students come to us lacking skills in their primary language. (For them) making a transition takes much longer than it should.”
The U.S. Department of Education will provide about $215,000 for each of the five years of the program. The money will pay for classroom costs, as well as a secretary and three community liaisons who will work with parents to encourage participation in helping their children learn.
The project will serve about 450 students in bilingual classrooms.