Creating a culturally relevant environment helps to foster parental engagement of English Language Learners (ELLs). Cultural relevancy is important because it recognizes the diverse experiences, creates connections, and encourages more parental involvement, which leads to greater academic success. For schools and classrooms to be culturally responsive, school officials and teachers need to openly learn from and respectfully share with ELL families and provide staff development for cultural competency. The following federal mandates from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) work in tandem to help create a culturally relevant environment in our nation’s school system.
Title I, Part A
Title I, Part A provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools, which have high percentages of students from low-income families to help ensure that all students can meet the challenging academic standards set in each state. Title I, Part A has a provision which aims to include parental involvement in the education of their children’s school and education. The Department of Education believes that the school system cannot improve without the help of parents and family members of their students.
Title I, Part C
Title I, Part C is known as the Migrant Education Program (MEP). The MEP funds educational programs for migrant children between the ages of 3-21. Migrant students face additional challenges due to their frequent moves. The MEP strives to help migrant students so that they can overcome additional educational challenges that they encounter as they move throughout the country. Title I, Part C also helps with services that transfer academic records in a timely fashion.
Title II, Part A
Title II, Part A provides grants to State educational agencies and local educational agencies, as well as State higher education agencies to encourage teacher and paraprofessional training. These grants are given to increase academic achievement through varying strategies that improve the quality of teachers and school officials. Additionally, Title II, Part A also holds local schools and educational agencies accountable for improving the academic achievement of their students.
Title III, Part A
Title III, Part A encourages family engagement for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students by using a culturally relevant approach and materials. It is also known as the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. Title III, Part A states that LEP students must simultaneously meet grade-level academic standards and English language proficiency.
Lectura Books publishes culturally engaging books for English Learners. They have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly and have won many awards for their children’s books.