LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Feb. 8, 2013 – More than 2,000 educators immersed themselves in the most important topics related to bilingual education during the 42nd Annual National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity and education, The Walt Disney Company is sponsoring this year’s conference, with the theme “Bilingual Education: Magic Happens!” Attendees took on the role of students as they experienced special presentations and sessions on topics ranging from the Race to the Top initiative to the Spanish version of the Common Core Standards.
Mickey Mouse dropped in on the conference’s opening session for a ribbon- cutting ceremony. He helped accept the Ruby Sponsorship Award recognizing Disney as sponsor of the year for its support of NABE’s mission to bring bilingual education to a broader audience.
Central Florida leaders were involved in the festivities, including Orange County Public Schools superintendent Barbara Jenkins, who applauded the unique professional development opportunity the conference provides for educators dealing in cultural and linguistic diversity.
“Central Florida has become such an international community,” said Jenkins. “In Orange County Public Schools, we have 185,000 students that come from more than 200 countries with more than 163 languages and dialects spoken. Of those students, 20 percent come to us speaking a language other then English. We have to make sure we are accommodating, so bilingual education is critical for our community.”
NABE is the only nationwide network of professionals dedicated to serving English language learners and bilingual educators via education programs and legislative advocacy. For the past four decades, NABE has been committed to excellence in bilingual and biliteracy education for all students through enriched educational programs and intensive professional development for teachers, administrators, professors, policy makers and parents.