Melinda Parrent and Allison Doyle

Olson Elementary School
Woodstock, IL

Project Description:

Parrent and Doyle’s innovative program, “Cuéntame tu historia: Tell Me Your Story,” is a dual language project for first-grade students at Olson Elementary School. The program involves providing Apple iPads to participating Spanish/English students as well as books about different cultures from around the world for the school library. The current school library is missing many books on culture, and the technology in the dual-language classroom is dated and limited. Through the program, students will practice speaking their new languages by using avatars, puppet applications, and other types of multimedia. They will create, record, and share their stories while their family members and other employees throughout the school district will be invited to do the same. This will lead into the culminating activity of a community celebration to highlight the importance of literacy for children from all cultures. Students, family members and the overall community will use storytelling, music, dance, art, food, and more to share their stories and educate others about their cultures. Parrent and Doyle hope the program will remove barriers that many students may have when learning to speak a new language by allowing them to increase their opportunities to speak their new language on an ongoing basis.