Sixth annual Language Learner Celebration to recognize exemplary OC educators and model programs

OCDE will honor Orange County educators, administrators, community liaisons and parents who have championed the success of language learners at the sixth annual Language Learner Celebration.

Dennis Cole speaks onstage
OCDE Humanities Director Dennis Cole speaks at the 2017 Language Learner Celebration at the Marconi Automotive Museum. There’s still time to register for this year’s event, which will honor representatives from 22 districts, charter schools and learning centers for their exemplary programs and practices.

Organized by the department’s Humanities unit, the presentation based on the theme “Navigating Emergent Bilingualism” will start at 5 p.m. on May 10 at the Marconi Automotive Museum and Foundation for Kids. Representatives from 22 districts, charter schools and learning centers will be recognized for supporting model programs and practices that have had a positive impact on students and communities.

Guests can register for the event by visiting

OCDE’s Language Learner Celebration has annually honored dozens of outstanding educational leaders individually, and organizers will do so again this year, handing out 44 individual awards. But for 2018 they’ve also added five special awards to recognize school districts and their leadership teams, particularly those that have developed and implemented innovative programs and strategies that support the social and academic success of English learners, also known as emergent bilinguals.

Here are the five districts set to receive these special awards, along with brief descriptions of their winning programs.

2018 Advocacy Leadership Award

Garden Grove Unified School District
Dual Language Immersion Program

Garden Grove’s Dual Language Immersion programs foster social justice for emergent bilingual learners. In honoring the rich linguistic and cultural landscape of the community, the district, in consultation with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), has developed a biliteracy pathway that celebrates the linguistic assets of the students as a foundation to build upon.

2018 Equity and Access Award

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
Integrated ELD Summer Camp

Placentia-Yorba Linda’s Integrated ELD Summer Camp provides equitable opportunities for English learners as they participate in enriching summer learning which integrates ELD instruction with art and science. PYLUSD also developed a strong community partnerships with the Center for Creativity at Cal State Fullerton, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and Segerstrom Center for Performing Arts

2018 Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Award

Anaheim Union High School District
Summer Language Academy (SLA) for Newcomers

The Anaheim Union Summer Language Academy is an asset-based/culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning program that was established to meet the needs of the growing numbers of newcomers. In a partnership with Cal State Fullerton, the curriculum was written to help students navigate their identity, as well as their community within a new country.      

2018 Family and Civic Engagement Award

Anaheim Elementary School District
Parent Leadership Institute (PLI)

Anaheim Elementary’s Parent Leadership Institute supports family and civic engagement through its partnership among parents, school staff and the broader community in order to enhance the academic achievement of all students in the district. PLI empowers parents by developing their voices, allowing them to advocate for the educational success of their children.

2018 Emergent Bilingual Voice Award                  

Orange Unified School District
OCDE Project GLAD® Model

Orange Unified’s OCDE Project GLAD® model is firmly rooted in research and supports standards-based instruction through integrated approaches, which include Project-Based Learning and language acquisition. The model provides authentic opportunities for the use of academic language, maintains highest standards and expectations for all students, including emergent bilinguals, and fosters voice and identity.

For more information or to register for the Language Learner Celebration, visit, or contact Imelda Cavazos at or 714-966-4346.