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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PRESS RELEASE

February 25, 2003

Bilingual Education Day to be held Thursday at Legislature

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) will join with the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE) in celebrating Bilingual Education Day at the Legislature on Thursday, February 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

"The richness of the cultures and languages in our state demands that we set aside a day which recognizes, celebrates and endorses this diversity," said Gladys Herrera-Gurulé, the SDE's director of Bilingual Multicultural Education. "Historically, the decision-making bodies of our state have consistently made New Mexico a national leader with initiatives regarding culture and language preservation. Bilingual day at the state Capitol serves as a reminder of this history and the importance of continuing its legacy."

The event will open on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the state Capitol Rotunda with opening remarks by Luis "Nacho" Quiñones, president of NMABE, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis, Christine Trujillo, a member of the State Board of Education, Tina Deschenie, director of Bilingual Education at the Central Consolidated Schools, various parents of students in the Albuquerque Public Schools' Dual Language Immersion Program and Herrera-Gurulé.

From noon to 1:10 p.m., students from several New Mexico schools will provide entertainment. Students from Coyote Elementary School in the Jemez Mountain schools will sing songs in both English and Spanish, the Ballet Folklórico of La Casita Elementary in Clovis will perform traditional dances, students from Twin Lakes Elementary in the Gallup-McKinley County schools will sing in Navajo, the Mariachi Pantera del Yermo from Pecos High School in Pecos will provide Mariachi selections and students from Francis X. Nava Elementary in Santa Fe will also participate.

Bilingual Education Day will open on Wednesday, February 26, with a Directors Institute at the Radisson Inn in Santa Fe from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., featuring presentations on accountability and assessment issues related to English Language Learners (ELLs), licensure affecting bilingual education programs, corrective action, legislative issues and new state and federal bilingual education programs. Dr. Virginia Collier and Dr. Wayne Thomas, of George Washington University, will present on "Data and Research on Effective Bilingual Education Programs." They will also speak at a legislative reception to follow the institute, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Radisson.