Preparing Global Citizens: Parents discuss two-way dual-language opportunities in Dallas ISD

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Darandall Riley and his wife worked as contractors on their own home, hand-picking the materials, collaborating on interior design choices and layouts. They put the work into the home because it’s where they planned to raise their future family. But as they settled into the home and their children began school, the Rileys wanted to expose their children to learning opportunities that exceeded sports and music.

[See Darandall Riley discuss his family’s transition into Dallas ISD]

Though they felt their previous school district was great, the Riley family ultimately came to the decision to sell the home they hand-crafted to move to a place where their kids could attend the Dallas Independent School District. As a professional who works with businesses from all over the world, Riley understood the value and importance of his children’s exposure to another language. For this reason, he wanted to enroll his kids in Dallas ISD’s two-way dual-language program, which helps create biliterate and bilingual students.

“It was a tough decision to sell our home, but our job as parents was to put our kids in a situation to prepare them better for their future,” Riley said. “It was well worth the decision to do that”

Gabriella Hansen’s daughter attends Alex Sanger’s two-way dual-language program. As a parent who is bilingual, Hansen saw the two-way program as a way for her daughter to learn a second language and be immersed in two cultures.

“Being in the two-way dual-language program means that my daughter will have a more open perspective of the world and people she will encounter,” Hansen said.

Rhonda Edmundson is a parent of fifth-grade twins who’ve attended a two-way dual-language program since early childhood. Edmundson says the program has helped her daughters become more academically competitive, socially confident and prepared for a world full of additional languages and cultures.

[See Rhonda Edmundson discuss how learning a second language in the two-way dual language program has affected her children’s academic development]

“Having our girls involved in the two-way dual-language program was a no-brainer,” Edmundson said. “When I think about their future jobs and their future opportunities, we live in a global world and I don’t want to tie them to Texas for the rest of their lives. But, if they should stay here, their Spanish abilities will help them right here at home as well. We live in a global society, and language is really the key to unlocking business opportunities.”

For more information on Dallas ISD’s two-way dual-language opportunities, make plans to attend the district’s two-way informational fair from 9 a.m. to noon on April 9 at Townview, 1201 E 8th St.

Visit the two-way homepage for more information or to see a list of schools offering two-way dual language programs.

Preparing Global Citizens is a four-part series on The Hub providing information on the district’s growing two-way dual-language program.

Part One: What to know about Dallas ISD’s two-way dual-language program

Part Two: Studies show the benfits of two-way dual-language program

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