Dr. Steven Garcia Wins Foreign Language Award

  Dr. Steven Garcia, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel was recently named the recipient of the National Network for Early Language Learning Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning.

In announcing the award, NNELL cited Dr. Garcia’s work bringing and implementing the Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES) program to the Pelham Public Schools in 2017-18. FLES incorporates Spanish language instruction into the regular elementary curriculum and was offered to all 2nd and 3rd graders in the Pelham Public Schools last year. The program has since expanded into 4th grade for the 2018-19 school year.

“It is truly an honor be presented with the NNELL Award and be recognized for our efforts to start the FLES program here in Pelham,” Dr. Garcia said. “Bringing foreign language instruction to the elementary school has been a goal of the District for several years, and a key piece of our Strategic Plan. We are incredibly pleased with the first year of implementation and believe FLES is making a profound impact on students. Our teachers, principals, and foreign language team deserves much credit for their hard work and success.”

The decision to implement the FLES program came after more than a year of study by the World Language Task Force -- a group that included parents, teachers, Board of Education members and administrators. In the FLES program, dedicated teachers provide instruction in the regular education classroom every other day and focus on teaching the regular curriculum in Spanish.

“Dr. Garcia is extremely deserving of this award and I’d like to congratulate him on behalf of the entire Pelham Public Schools administration and staff,” said Dr. Cheryl Champ, Superintendent of Schools. “The implementation of a major program such as FLES does not just happen, but is the result of countless hours of planning and professional development. Dr. Garcia, our FLES teachers, our principals and our entire team have done an outstanding job bringing this program to life.”