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Hoboken Dual Language Charter School – a public charter school with a unique model that teaches a robust academic curriculum in both Spanish and English to over 400 students in grades K-8 – has launched in March a new, first-of-its-kind international social justice club in partnership with a school in Spain, bringing together children from across the globe to discuss how to dismantle racism and deliver equity both at home and internationally.
The new innovation was specifically borne out of the COVID-19 crisis as well as the Black Lives Matter movement — bringing a bright spot to teaching and learning for children at a time of extraordinary challenges across America. When schools across the nation transitioned to remote learning, Hoboken Dual Language Charter School realized it had then become technologically feasible to link students from across the globe virtually from their devices, inside their homes, via their computers. That’s when Hoboken Dual Language Charter School expanded its own Liga de la Justicia Social (Social Justice Club), taking advantage of this unique moment of interconnectedness through technology, to create this first-of-its-kind international virtual collaboration, aimed at bringing children around the world closer together via Zoom and sharing cross-cultural experiences among students, even while they were remote. With this groundbreaking partnership, NJ public charter school students exchange ideas with students in Spain while honing their skills in their second language, which they learn in their day-to-day coursework at Hoboken Dual Language Charter School.
Topics raised and discussed in this international social justice club will include:
- Dismantling systemic racism and discrimination, discussing current events, and combatting specific emerging concerns like the recent rise in anti-Asian violence
- How students both in NJ and Spain can work together to make a difference in their respective communities
- A social media campaign about why students from these communities are involved in specific social justice issues, and why it is important for other youth to be involved as well.
“Our students have been through so much this year, and the pandemic has made it even harder for them to connect with their peers, even right here at home. This amazing new social justice collaboration is a response to all they have experienced and witnessed this year, and shows that even at a distance we can come together to find community,” said Jen Sargent, Executive Director of Hoboken Dual Language Charter School. “Here at HoLa, we want our students to be empowered to fight for what they believe in. This partnership celebrates just that and connects them with other students across the world who are passionate about the same issues.”
“Public charter schools across New Jersey have been getting creative to see how we can reimagine education during what has been an unprecedented year,” said Harry Lee, President of the New Jersey Public Charter School Association. “At a time when the entire country and the world are focused on how to deliver equity and justice to communities who need it most, charter schools are on the frontlines of driving change in their communities and making lasting connections across the world.”