…because I am now on the board for the Austin Community School. What does this mean? What expertise can I offer? I have had no experience with this kind of thing. But I am a bit obsessed about the idea of dual language immersion. To that end I helped get the ball rolling on the Austin dual language listserv (well, bugged a UT prof about it until she started one) and set up my oft neglected dual language blog (well, bugged Rob to set it up).
And then I discovered ACS. I’ve been to every public meeting since last summer and kept in touch with the organizers to see what I could do to help. They’re turning in their application this month to become an Austin charter school teaching regular content in English and Spanish with a well known and well tested curriculum called International Baccalaureate. If they’re approved, doors will open next fall for Kindergarten and 1st grade. Violet will join in 2010.
So. I’m on the board with a group of people up to their eyeballs in advanced degrees, very impressive qualifications and expertise. I think I’m the token Parent of Young Children. But I’ll take it. Like I said, I’m obsessed. I know this can work. Case in point: the other day we were taking a walk to the middle school where neighborhood families play pick-up soccer in the athletic field. Violet and another little girl her age spotted each other, grabbed hands and went sprinting off down the track. Neither spoke the other’s language, but that didn’t stop them from talking to each other nonstop. They had a blast. Violet came away from that 15 minutes knowing a couple words of Spanish, which she still hasn’t forgotten because she learned them playing in the real world, not in an hour class twice a week. THAT is how you’re supposed to learn a language.