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Starting Portuguese in Your School

Starting Portuguese in Your SchoolThe main purpose of the Portuguese American Citizenship Project has been and continues to be to encourage Portuguese Americans to participate fully in the civic activities of their communities, become U.S. citizens, register to vote, and vote. During its meeting in November of 2010, the Board of Directors adopted, as an additional focus, the promotion of the inclusion of the Portuguese language in the curricula of U.S. public schools.

Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world and is spoken by approximately 230 million people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Yet, the Portuguese language is less common in the curricula of U.S. public schools than other languages with far fewer speakers.

Starting Portuguese in Your School: A Manual for Community Leadership provides specific strategies that community leaders can utilize to advance the inclusion of the Portuguese language in the curricula of their public schools. Following proper protocol is essential to any effort that is likely to succeed. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that organizers begin their efforts with the school principal, followed by approaching the district superintendent and finally the board of education.

Preparation and persistence are essential to a successful effort. Individuals involved in the promotion of the Portuguese language must gather the necessary facts to make it evident to school authorities that it is in the best interest of the school district as well as the community to include Portuguese as part of the school curricula. However, having the necessary facts is not sufficient. The individuals involved in this effort must be persistent to achieve the desired results. If not successful with the school principal and school superintendent, an organized and persistent effort directed at the board of education, including active participation in school board elections, will most likely bring the desired results.

For more information, contact the Project Coordinator.

Download Starting Portuguese in Your School: A Manual for Community Leadership.