Rubén Martinez moved his family from Silver Lake to Mt. Washington, where his twin daughters would be able to attend the highly regarded Mt. Washington Elementary at the top of the hill. But Martinez, in a Sunday opinion piece in the L.A. Times, said he has been impressed with a visit to a new, dual-language immersion program down the hill in Highland Park’s Aldama Elementary, where students spend half the day being taught in Spanish, the rest in English. The experimental program was launched at the urging from an unexpected group of parents who call themselves the “hummus people,” writes Martinez:
The initial push didn’t come from working-class immigrant parents but from middle-class newcomers. Courtney Mykytyn, a local mother with a new doctorate in medical anthropology, led the charge for Aldama’s dual-language program. Mykytyn refers to herself and other middle-class, professional parents at the school as the “hummus people,” because that is what they bring to parent potlucks — in contrast to the Doritos or tamales others would bring.
“If I believe in my community, then my kids need to learn Spanish,” she tells me. Beyond that altruism, she also points to research studies that show bilingual and biliterate students displaying greater aptitude for music and science.
Where will Martinez send his twin daughters in a year and a half when they are old enough to attend elementary school? Martinez said that decision has not been made.