Eight Harvard School District 50 students earned the state Seal of Biliteracy.
The Seal of Biliteracy was established in Illinois to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
Seniors Hugo Escobar, Ruby Galarza, Sergio Hernández, Adela León, Alejandra Mercado, Kimberly Morales, Mariela Rendón and Carolina Valdez successfully demonstrated proficiency in both English and Spanish in accordance with state criteria.
The seal is a state-supported recognition of scholars who have mastered language for college and career readiness. More than 100 Illinois school districts participated in the growing program during the 2018-19 academic year.
All eight scholars are eligible for free college credit.
“It pays to be bilingual and biliterate,” said Amber Bowgren, District 50 bilingual and dual language coordinator.
Public community colleges and universities in Illinois accept the award as equivalent to two years of foreign language coursework.
“We are so proud of Seal of Biliteracy scholars,” Bowgren said. “Mastering multiple languages means students graduate with the skills to live in a globally competitive economy.”
Since 2007, Harvard has offered a dual language immersion program. Starting in pre-kindergarten, students learn in both English and Spanish. Two-way immersion is a researched, instructional and enrichment approach from which students emerge bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.