MSD Multilingual Learner Olympics celebrate multi-lingual learning

Terry RogersEducation, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

The Milford School District hosted its third annual “ML Olympics”.  Multilingual Learner (ML) Olympics is an annual academic competition created by the staff of Milford School District to allow ML students an opportunity to showcase their academic abilities while building pride and confidence in their multilingualism. Elementary teacher Montessa Brooks explained “The first event of its kind in the state, the purpose is to celebrate and recognize the hard work and dedication of our ML’s who have each worked to master more than one language.” The ML Olympics, which took place on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Lulu Ross Elementary School, is not just about language proficiency. It is about showcasing the richness and diversity of the many cultures represented in the Milford School District and how we can use language as a tool to bring people together and break down barriers.

As an elementary academic competition, events were held for grades one through five. Student Learning Specialist, Sharlitta Gilbert stated “There were 65 competitions in total. They included academic skills divided by English language proficiency scores. They included a focus on English language skills such as reading and spelling, mathematics using language, and the sciences including social studies.”

Director of Student Learning, Dr. Amory shared “We are incredibly grateful for the families who joined us as well as the community organizations and numerous volunteers who helped to make this event a success. We appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the power of language and the achievements of our multilingual learners.”

Community organizations came together to support the event and provide outreach information including  valuable resources to our families. Community organizations present included: Milford Police Department, Carlisle Fire Company, Avenue Church’s Culture Club, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, La Esperanza, DDOE Office of Multilingual Learners, DDOE Migrant Education Office, Milford Public Library, Polytech Adult Education (Adult ESL and Parents as Teachers), La Red, DNREC and Delaware State Parks, and Westside Family Health Care.

The event was attended by hundreds of students, families, and community members.  Local representatives included Mayor Archie Campbell and Milford School Board Member Mr. Matt Bucher.  Additionally, the Delaware Department of Education was represented by former Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of Education Dr. Mark Holodick, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Monica Gant, Office of Multilingual Learners Education Associates Maria Rodriguez and Cary Knight, and Migrant Education Program Recruiter Maria Mendoza.  Members of Governor John Carney’s English Language Learner Task Force included Margie Lopez Waite and Allison Burris Castellanos.

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