My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for St Louis Language Immersion Schools Inc, St Louis, MO, USA
I moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 2007, with a 3 year old and a baby. My son had attended a Spanish immersion preschool, and I thought I'd never find similar options in St. Louis. I was lucky enough to soon meet Rhonda Broussard, Executive Director/Founder of SLLIS, and hear about her dream to open elementary language schools here. Only 2 years later the dream was a reality. My two children now attend the Spanish School. They have not only had the chance to develop fluency in another language, but work alongside students who come from many different linguistic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds: something we as a family treasure. As a professor of education, I have been impressed with the schools' drive for continual improvement, creativity, and dedication to inquiry-based learning. They are moving against a strong tide of accountability, testing, (and more testing), and their moves are impressive.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would change the context around the org: It is not easy to find teachers in the U.S. who are experts in early childhood education AND teaching content through a seond language AND fluently bilingual in the language of instruction and English. Funding for a teaching training program and more time for professional development for teachers seems critical. A state certification in language instruction, and more resources for real hands-on/inquiry learning are also needed.
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