Fifteen eighth graders from Hawthorn middle Schools were honored by the Board of Education this week with a District 73 Pathways to Biliteracy award, which recognizes that these students have a high level of biliteracy in two languages.
To receive this elite honor students must demonstrate a knowledge of English through their performance on standardized tests and their grades in English Language Arts, said Betsy Sostak, district coordinator of dual language and bilingual services. In Spanish, students must demonstrate proficiency through their grades in Spanish literacy or advanced Spanish classes as well as standardized assessments. In addition, applicants present a portfolio of works in English and Spanish to a panel of bilingual judges. Applicants must also write an essay explaining the importance of bilingualism to their own futures and the world as a whole, Mrs. Sostak said.
“Hawthorn has placed a high value on biliteracy over the years, but especially through the implementation and expansion of the dual language program in which the goal is to produce students who are bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural,” Mrs. Sostak said.