The bilingual illiteracy level is high in many countries, where countless children have little access to reading English materials.
The Michaelis Foundation for Global Education seeks to counter this trend by providing Bilingual dictionaries to students and schools.
Ana Kioto, 14, is thankful that she can now read an English Portuguese dictionary for the first time in her life, as opposed to before, when she just read notes her teacher gave her in class.
“Things are different now,” says Ana, a sixth-grade student. “I read my own dictionary now, and it is helping me with the needed resources I need to better my bilingual skills.”
Ana says that if it were not for the donated dictionary, she would not know how to read English Portuguese as well as she does today.
“We have over 650 pupils at our school, and grades five through nine are all benefiting from these bilingual dictionaries,” says teacher Janet Venturini. “But it’s not just the pupils who are benefiting from the reading materials. Teachers use the same dictionaries as teaching aids and for research, which helps them prepare for classroom lessons.”
Janet says that the dictionaries given to the school are a great blessing, adding that schools like hers don't get books like these from any other source.
Realizing that higher institutions of learning were also lagging behind in bilingual materials, The Michaelis Foundaiton will extend the donation of its Dictionaries to colleges around the United States.
Also, The Michaelis Foundation distributes various bilingual dictionaries to students in the State of Florida that are personally donated by Carla and Jefferson Michaelis.
Michaelis in action
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