Our mission: Empowering Latino youth and families to become bilingual, global citizens through innovative heritage language and cultural immersion programs.
ISLA’s purpose is five-fold:
- Give primarily low-income, Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to gain literacy skills in their native language of Spanish
- Lessen the academic achievement gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students
- Support students as they learn about their Latin American cultural heritage and navigate their own unique multicultural experiences
- Provide Spanish-speaking parents access to resources to raise happy, healthy, bilingual families
- Bridge the gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities through a shared interest in the Spanish language
Our goal is to foster a sense of pride and love for Hispanic culture in our free, Spanish heritage language classes. The curriculum includes strategies based on the Latin American educational model that incorporates the stories, traditions and geography of Spanish-speaking countries into each lesson.
ISLA supports its students by supporting their communities. In addition to free Spanish classes for native and heritage Spanish-speaking children, ISLA coordinates its own Spanish language library, a community resource program for ISLA parents, a volunteer program, and weekly Spanish immersion events in the community.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the last five years Hispanic students have scored 25 to 30 points lower than non-Hispanic students on state math and reading tests. However, several studies show that Spanish literacy education not only enables students to succeed in Spanish, but that it gives them fundamental skills that carry over to English, too. Our goal at ISLA is to close the academic achievement gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students through high-quality education in Spanish.
Learning Through Inquiry and Exploration
We believe we all learn best when we are actively experiencing the world. ISLA's classes are inquiry-based and guided by our students' interests.