Jackie Barrera Gonzalez is a La Follette High School senior and Nuestro Mundo Elementary alumni. Last year, the first class of Madison Metropolitan School District students to earn the state’s seal of biliteracy graduated from La Follette. To earn the seal, students must master not only reading and writing in English and Spanish, but an understanding of how culture evolved around the language through studying literature and history.
Jackie completed her requirements for the biliteracy seal early, and fills the free time in her schedule with Nuestro Mundo’s Puma Scholars program, named for the school’s mascot. The after-school program, led by Madison School and Community Recreation, focuses on math and literacy enrichment for first- through fifth-graders.
For Jackie, it is important to inspire the next generation of La Follette graduates and build her skill set as an aspiring teacher.
“I got to understand what it was like to plan a lesson and understand following a curriculum,” she said. “Working with first-graders, there are a lot of obstacles and distractions, but I feel like everyday ... it gets easier.”
Jackie spoke with Cap Times reporter Amber C. Walker about earning the biliteracy seal and working with young students at Nuestro Mundo. Ben Brewer produced the video: