In June, 12 Kalamazoo Public Schools seniors graduated with the Michigan Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy for demonstrating their proficiency in English and one or more languages.
This is the first year KPS has participated in the program.
The 2022 KPS recipients who received certification in either Spanish or German, were:
Onishka Serrano Ortiz
The Seal of Biliteracy program promotes the development of English and world language skills and honors heritage language maintenance. Developing world language skills increases students’ marketability in the workplace and makes them a valuable economic resource for the state.
More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers and 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power are outside the United States. Currently, 1.2 million Michigan jobs are tied to international trade, according to the state. Students who develop language proficiency in English and other languages help the state remain competitive in the global marketplace.
In addition to career advantages, students who learn more than one language gain numerous cognitive benefits, including improvements in executive functioning, working memory, attention span, flexibility, and creative thinking, according to researchers.
The state launched the Seal of Biliteracy also to recognize the rich cultural and linguistic diversity that exists in the state.
Students who are interested in earning a Seal of Biliteracy can begin preparing in middle school. Juniors should apply with their counselors. Applications are free.
For more information, contact the KPS Department of Bilingual/ESL/World Languages at (269) 337-1579. Or email Itzel Gomez-Avalos at gomez-avalosi@ kalamazoopublicschools.net or Wessam Abdelaziz at email@example.com.