America is in the midst of a big growth spurt – a wave of increases in the populations of minorities. The Hispanic communities all over the country are swelling in numbers, and are now the largest ethnic minority group in America – totaling 16% of the entire country’s population. Furthermore, it is projected that it will reach 30% of the population by the year 2050.*
*Hispanic Heritage Month. (2007). Retrieved 8 1, 2011, from Factmonster.com: http://www.factmonster.com/spot/hhm1.html
How will this rapid and vast growth affect America’s schools and students? How do schools address the huge influx of Hispanic students in schools?
- Textbooks and other student materials will need to adapt to include this change in population, like they have adapted in previous circumstances (gender inclusion, for example)
- ESL, ELL, and bilingual programs and teachers will increase in schools as the population increases
- Differentiation in lessons and activities will continue to be a necessity, even a requirement
- Lessons involving awareness, acceptance, and tolerance will be mainstays
- Respect for others and their system of values will become more and more relevant
- Family support will be essential in schools, parents will need to really step up to back student learning
In sum, families and schools will need to seriously work together toward student academic achievement. It is no longer enough for only schools to accommodate the needs of its population. Communities will need to avail programs to facilitate adults in the learning of the English language, so that families can better partner with schools.
Our government needs to re-evaluate how funding reaches schools, and how students are tested. Schools cannot handle the massive increase of student needs without the assistance of community and government programs, and the support of families.
For ideas and activities for the classroom or for youth and
young adult groups in and around Hispanic Heritage Month
go to : www.RaceBridgesStudio.com