Lynne Barrera

Mather High School
Chicago, IL

Project Description:

“REACH: Road to English Acquisition and Cultural Help” is Barrera’s innovative winning program that will bring rich resources and appropriate classroom materials into the hands of teachers and students involved in teaching and learning English as a second language. The program is designed to educate, acclimate and enrich the lives of newcomers while allowing them to reciprocate and contribute to the educational process of others. Mather High School has a large number of limited English proficiency students, including the city’s highest percentage of refugee students who collectively speak more than 60 languages. With the ING grant funds, teachers will implement cultural sharing experiences which will help the students reach out to the larger community and enlighten fellow students. The students participating in the project will produce cultural stories, poems, letters and videos which will inform others about their unique and diverse homeland experience. They will even produce a video about leaving their homeland, describing the challenges they faced and the expectations they hold for their future. The students will also write a dual language poem or a letter about American/homeland cultural differences. Barrera, who lives in Park Ridge, says more than 80 students will directly benefit from her project.