As parents gathered for Back to School Night at DeMille Elementary in the City of Westminster, State Senator Janet Nguyen joined the festivities to present a $5,000 check on behalf of the Barona Tribe of Mission Indians. This education grant will support the school’s Vietnamese Language Dual Immersion Program through the purchase of Vietnamese language arts books; with the remaining funds going towards the creation of a Vietnamese Language Library.
“As someone who came to this country not speaking English, I support programs like this that help students develop strong reading, writing and speaking skills in English and in a second language,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “Dual Language Immersion Programs equip students with a skill set that allows them to compete in a global economy and flourish in a personal and academic capacity.”
In an effort to enhance educational opportunities for students in her district, Senator Nguyen identified DeMille Elementary as a potential recipient of Barona’s Education Grant Program and approached the Westminster School District to encourage them to apply. The Barona Tribe of Mission Indians created the “Barona Education Grant Program”, as part of a larger effort to make a difference for schools throughout California. The funding specifically seeks to help schools purchase much-needed supplies and materials, including books and computers.
Working in conjunction with the Vietnamese Cultural Center Vietnamese Language School and the Westminster Unified School District, including President Jamison Power, Senator Nguyen’s office also helped with the application process for Barona’s Education Grant Program, which included a letter of support from Senator Nguyen.
“With limited discretionary resources, at times, programs like this tend to go unfunded,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “Through the generosity of the Barona Tribe of Mission Indians, DeMille Elementary can continue to provide supplemental reading materials for free and furthermore, create a Vietnamese language library that students can use to reinforce lessons learned in class.”
Currently, 72 First Graders and Kindergartners are enrolled in DeMille’s Vietnamese Language Dual Immersion Program.