Pitt Co students on track to graduate 5th grade as bilingual learners

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – ENC at Three is kicking your week off with another episode of Make me Proud by taking a look at a multi-talented educator with increasing literacy rates for all learners at the top of her priority list.

You can find Hannah Butler bouncing between the halls of three of Pitt County’s elementary schools overseeing the language immersion programs.

You may recognize the program from a previous name: English as a Second Language. The multilingual learner program is promoting academic skills by flexing student’s language muscles.

Hannah joined Maddie Kerth in the studio to share more about the program.

There are two different models. Elmhurst, the newest program, operates on a 90/10 model. Every bit of the educational day is spent using Spanish, both from the instructors and students.

The other schools, Belvoir and Pactolus Global, use a 50/50 with student alternating between Spanish and English days.

“The language learning is always happening while they’re learning grade-level content,” said Butler.

Learning another language is increasingly more difficult with age, so the immersion program at Pitt County Schools starts young… Kindergarten to be exact!

Now on the eighth year of the program, success can be easily measured in previous immersion classes. Fifth graders in the program graduate into middle school as fully bilingual and biliterate learners!

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