Seal of Biliteracy Now in Long Beach Schools

Jan. 1, 2013 / By

Students across California have cheered about how a simple small seal can provide higher job opportunities.

Thanks to the Seal of Biliteracy, an effort by Californians Together and Valasquez Press, students in Long Beach are now available to receive the award in high schools.

The seal is an award given to students who have studied and attained proficiency in more than one language by the time of high school graduation.

By 2011 it was estimated that 6,000 students in the state had achieved the seal and by the end of this year, more than 10,000 students will have earned it.

This August, LBUSD approved the implementation of the seam and by June next year, qualified students may start to receive the seal.

Currently, about 92 school districts have awarded the seal to students and over 170 districts, schools and county offices have formal Seal of Biliteracy policies.

“I suspect that the numbers of students receiving the State Seal will at least double this year,” said Shelley Speigel-Coleman, executive director at Californians Together. “The state is not charging anything for the self-adhesive seals that the districts receive to put on the students transcripts or diploma. So far, no negative feedback has been received.”

The seal is steadily being implemented in cities throughout California. It encourages students to pursue biliteracy and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.

There are many advantages to being bilingual. Science Daily newspaper acknowledges that “A person who speaks more languages is likely to be clear-minded at an older age.”

“Being bilingual helps others understand you to articulate your hopes and dreams,” Long Beach Jordan High School principal Shawn Ashley. “To be bilingual can make a huge difference in the world.”

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Adalhi Montes

As a teenager, Adalhi began volunteering at many programs helping our communities become healthier and safer to provide resources to people in need. He was involved with Weed and Seed in Central Long Beach and is a youth mentor for the California Conference for Equality and Justice. Adalhi is also in the process of completing the neighborhood leadership program at the Advanced Organizing Institute and is studying Radio and television broadcasting at LBCC. In the future, he looks forward to joining the Marine Corps and continuing his education.