The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) believes being proficient in more than one language is something to celebrate. That’s why this year, SDCOE, in partnership with South Bay CABE 65 and the Bea Gonzales Biliteracy Scholarship, is recognizing a group of bilingual and multilingual students at a new event.
The Student Biliteracy Celebration is a countywide ceremony from 9 to 11 a.m. May 1 that recognizes the students who earned a State Seal of Biliteracy and were chosen as scholarship winners by these two local organizations.
This year, 22 stellar students with tremendous aspirations will be honored, but the event also aims to elevate and celebrate all students who can speak and read in two or more languages. They each have limitless potential to be leaders and changemakers in our global, interconnected economy.
“Being biliterate and multilingual is a powerful asset for learning and for life,” said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “It is an honor to recognize these and all young people, who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of excellence, and celebrate multilingualism.”
This is the first year the students, their families, and their school leaders and counselors will be honored at a virtual live celebration designed exclusively for them. In past years, scholarship winners were recognized during the SDCOE Leadership in Biliteracy Symposium, which highlighted adults in schools and communities who are champions for biliteracy.
San Diego County is a diverse region with many immigrants, refugees, and others who maintain and build languages beyond English through world language, dual language, and community-based language programs. Multilingualism and biliteracy expand students' opportunities and offers them many advantages for their careers.
Historically, the county began as the native home of speakers of indigenous languages, such as the Kumeeyay, who live on both sides of the border. Recognizing that legacy and capacity, SDCOE supports the diversity of languages through this celebration and ongoing support of districts and schools across the county.
Learn more about the students being recognized, the State Seal of Biliteracy, and access certificate templates for schools and districts to recognize their own bilingual and multilingual students on the event website.