We want to read in Spanish!

Shoshanna Cohen is an ELL Interventionist at Mount View Elementary School. Her Excel Grant application read: “Our library is seriously lacking quality books in Spanish for our students, especially chapter books for older students. An incredible amount of research has been published to show that continuing a student’s language acquisition in their first language is incredibly beneficial to language acquisition in their second language.”

In addition, we have a dual immersion program at our school, but not enough books to support guided reading when teaching non-fiction. Therefore we ask you to grant us enough money to buy a healthy supply of chapter books in our students’ home languages and guided reading books for our Spanish classes so that we can continue to empower our students to grow in both their first, second, (and some cases) third languages.”

We are happy to report that Ms. Cohen’s application was accepted and the students, parents and staff have been thrilled with the results!

According to Shoshanna, “we were able to buy over 200 books in Spanish for our library with the grant money. Before this grant, our library was severely lacking interesting books in Spanish, not only for our Spanish-speaking population of students (over 50%) but also for our dual immersion program students. The books in Spanish that were available were all lower level reading. With this grant money, we were able to buy chapter books to help support and encourage the higher reading level students.

Harry PotterI have been able to guide several 3rd through 6th graders to new books that they want to read – like Harry Potter, The Lightening Thief and Hatchet. One specific 3rd grader is very into soccer, as many of our students are, but has never been into reading. I specifically found several non-fiction books on famous Hispanic soccer stars and how they got to be where they are. When I told him about the books, his eyes lit up! He read all the books available within the month and then I helped him find more books on famous sports stars.

These students are now able to read fantasy, historical fiction and realistic fiction books to improve their reading skills in both Spanish and English. I have never seen some of these students get so excited to get to the library and read!

We are so grateful for this grant money! The entire grant was used to purchase amazing and interesting books for Spanish-speaking students or students learning Spanish. Getting these kids hooked on reading is the best gift we can give them to have a successful future.


Want to help? Make a donation today and help fund next year’s Excel Grants. We welcome all levels of donation, whether it’s a one-time gift or a monthly donation. Questions? Please contact us at – [email protected] or 206-248-5196.

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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