In the United States, there are five million people who are learning English. In just Colorado, there are over 100,000 students who can’t speak fluent English. In Adams 14 in Commerce City, the students are the highest percentage of English-language learners as 48 percent of its students are working to learn English.
In the Lau vs. Nichols case of 1974, the United States Supreme Court ruled that public schools have an obligation to instruct students in their native language. The court argued that failing to teach students in their native language would violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In Denver, there is a school that is working to help those students who know the importance of learning English and Spanish and have a desire to be bilingual. That school, Escuela de Guadalupe, has been part of the Denver community since 1999. Escuela de Guadalupe, located at 660 Julian St., was founded in 1999 as the community recognized a need to fight against high dropout rates and a means to support bilingual education. Since then Escuela de Guadalupe has offered a dual-language education program.
The school instills Catholic values, and it expanded to offer pre-kindergarten and middle school programs. Its goal is to help kids become compassionate leaders and change makers, no matter their ethnicity, or economic background.
In October, the school will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with “ˇSALUD!” The event is the school’s premier fundraising mechanism, and it will be held on Oct. 5.
On Valentine’s Day, the school hosted its “One Child at a Time” Breakfast inside the school’s gymnasium. Guests were treated to student performances and stories about being part of Escuela de Guadalupe.
Escuela de Guadalupe wants to make sure it takes care of its students, even after they aren’t in shcool. Alumni at the school are welcome to take part in the school’s Graduate Support Program, which aims to make sure that students have long-term success. The program gives alumni counseling through high school graduation in an effort to encourage them to attend college.
The school’s graduates attend schools all throughout Colorado, including Catholic schools such Arrupe Jesuit High School and Regis Jesuit High School.
Interim President, Victoria Schwartz, SL, offers, “Escuela de Guadalupe is a vibrant, bi-literate community that celebrates all cultures, Catholic values, and provides a high-quality education for any student committed to making a positive change in the world.”
Outside of the classroom, Escuela de Guadalupe is partnered with Catholic Schools Athletic League to bring the “Los Lobos” Athletic Program to its students. It’s a low cost for families, and it allows kids to have the opportunity to participate in sports like volleyball, basketball and cross country. Through those sports, students learn sportsmanship and teamwork.
For more information about Escuela de Guadalupe, visit www.escuelaguadalupe.org, or call 303-964-8456.