On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 I had the amazing privilege to attend the 15th Annual Maryland ELL Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN) Conference.
MELLFIN is a non-profit organization, committed to sharing information and resources in support of immigrant families living in Maryland. MELLFIN is a collaborative body, cultivating effective strategies to appropriately meet the needs of Maryland's increasingly diverse and fast-growing immigrant population.
The theme for the 15th annual conference was "Schools and Community Partnership = EL Success". I was honored and humbled to be one of two keynote speakers - Ms. Becky Pringle, Vice President of the National Education Association was our morning keynote and I served as the afternoon keynote.
I had the privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as a few tips to support families and English learners to reach their full (and sometimes hidden) potential.
2019 MELLFIN John Nelson - Parent Involvement Matters Award
This recognition was exciting to me. MELLFIN recognizes and honors parents whose exemplary contributions to Maryland public schools lead to improvements for Maryland Public school children, schools, and districts. Nominees must demonstrate engagement in one or more of five core areas from Maryland's PreK-12 Parent Engagement Framework:
The MELLFIN scholarships are annual scholarship awards to current or former Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students in Maryland who are seniors in high school and have demonstrated commitment to attend college.
I was honored to have a scholarship after me!! The Astrid Emily Francis scholarship was awarded to Lily Jeannette Mancia Gomez, a Salvadorian HS student who aspires to attend college!
These words were shared as Lily received her award:
"Lily is deeply involved in her school community - Lily has contributed of her time and her talents to a wide variety of school and community organizations. Her talent in the area of media production has been noticed by many-- having earned her a role on the media team at the Baltimore City Public Schools District Office. Her peers in the Class of 2019 have also recognized Lily’s talent, as a member of the Interactive Media Production Pathway and a distinguished student having passed the Adobe Illustrator certification exam. She has also recently served as a teacher assistant, as she gives of her time to The Creative Alliance, a local community arts center in Southwest Baltimore-- where she has worked with children on community art projects, supported teachers with ceramics and literacy projects, and helped teens to make the center more inclusive. Her community involvement has been tremendous, but what truly stands out about this amazing young lady is her academic dedication and perseverance. Diligent in her study of English grammar, Lily was able to exit the ESOL instructional program last school year, but she didn’t stop there...she immediately enrolled in AP English Literature and Composition!"
Creating Connections - #PLN #PLF
I love the connections I made while visiting MELLFIN. I shared my Twitter handle and next thing you know we started connecting with one another. I met a handful of Guatemalan educators who were so proud of me for representing our country well. I am also proud of them for all they are doing as advocates for our ELs.
I also had the most amazing opportunity to meet and chat with Lydia Breiseth - director of Colorin Colorado! There's no doubt that this conference was a great opportunity to recharge and get fired up to continue serving and advocating for our ELs and their families.
You should follow these hashtags to see/read our conference fun!
click here and learn: #MELLFINconference #MELLFIN
Our Purpose in education is to protect and advocate for our students'greatest gifts - Their individuality and identity.
Thank you for reading!