Henry K-5 Dual Immersion School celebrated “Dual Immersion Day” with the help of state education leaders last week, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, State Board of Education member and Poly High School alumna Feliza Ortiz-Licon, and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee.
The fourth annual event at Henry spotlighted the school’s successful program offering immersion in Spanish during classroom instruction.
“Henry is a great example for our state and our world. Every school should be like Patrick Henry,” Thurmond said. “We know that when you learn more than one language, it does great things for us as students. It makes our brains better. It makes us learn more and faster, and it allows us to be global leaders.”
Henry has the longest standing DI program in the Long Beach Unified School District, and the program has been replicated at several other schools. The celebration highlighted the importance of attaining a bilingual, biliterate and bicultural education so students can connect with others across the world.
The event included student awards and Ballet Folklorico performances by the children. Members of the LBUSD Board of Education, Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser and other district leaders attended, along with former LBUSD Superintendent (and former State Board of Education member) Carl A. Cohn.
Three Henry students who are winners of the California Association for Bilingual Education annual essay contest were recognized. The contest focused on how multilingualism inspired students. Abigail Avila won in the school’s K-2 category, while Kendall Shock earned the award for grades 3-5. Nixon Hunt was recognized as a statewide winner for grades 3-5.