MIDLAND, Texas — Class is officially back in session for Midland ISD schools, but Ben Milam Elementary is introducing something totally new to the district.
"What sets Milam apart from other campuses is that it's the beginning of our dual-language program," said Iliana Bermea Principal at Milam elementary.
But many don't know this year marks the very first school selected in MISD to start one.
"In our district we have what we call the bi-lingual program, and it did not have the dual-language program readily available for all students. Not just students learning English. And dual-language is very successful throughout the nation," said Bermea.
They're starting children early this year with only Pre-K and kindergarten, but plan to add a grade level each year..
"Our program will be phasing in gradually throughout the years. But slowly, because language is actually something that takes time to develop," said Bermea.
But time isn't the only thing they're being considerate of.
"It's a great opportunity to start at such a young age. We want to create a culture and an environment that's very comfortable to the students, so that they can feel at ease whenever they're practicing a new language," said Bermea.
Soon Spanish and English won't be the only languages up Milam's sleeve.
"Beginning in third grade, we will be introducing French as a foreign language. So that when they leave Milam at the end of their 5th or 6th grade year, the child's going to be able to communicate in three different languages," said Bermea.
Bermea said the new program is one she wishes was available to her as a student.
"Whenever I was growing up I was immersed in a completely different environment and so I did not have the linguistic support that I needed as a child growing up. Do unfortunately, I struggled throughout my academic earlier years," said Bermea.
The once in a lifetime opportunity, Bermea says, is still available if you haven't signed your kiddos up just yet..
"We have about three slots left in Pre-K and four in kindergarden," said Bermea.
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