Bridging a Cultural Divide

Previdi, Patricia; Belfrage, Mary; Hu, Florence
March 2005
Principal;Mar/Apr2005, Vol. 84 Issue 4, p60
The article focuses on programs to bridge cultural divide in school education in the U.S. Playing an active role in a child's education can be especially difficult for parents of English Language Learners and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. Differences in cultural beliefs and language are often barriers to effective parent-school interaction. Such cultural discontinuities between home and school can affect a child's academic achievement. In an attempt to bridge this cultural divide by reaching out to parents, Saint John's Lane Elementary School in Howard County, Maryland, created the program in the fall of 2003. The need was critical because 26 percent of Saint John's Lane's student population came from homes where English was not the primary language and 12 percent were classified as LEP--the second highest percentage in the county.


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