School Library Media Specialist Somerville High School
Immigration to America comes in all forms: new job, new adventure, escaping oppression, or even fleeing war. Whatever the reason may be, ELL children are entering American schools daily. Immigrating to a country surrounded by new people and cultures can be extremely intimidating. Adding extra layers of having to attend a new school, submerged in a foreign language compounds that intimidation into fear and inhibitions. Connecting with ELLs on their level, within their comfort zone allows them to feel welcomed and safe during a daunting time of transition and change. Cafe con Libros is a before and after school program created to offer ESL students the opportunity to read in their native language while also listening to the same text in English. This program gives ELLs a sense of calm and belonging that builds confident students. These connections then allow ELLs to assuredly grow into active members of the larger school community.