Excelente! The Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago, Illinois is dedicated to upholding a bilingual education for their students. With an enthusiastic cheer performed every Friday morning from kindergarten to sixth grade, this school strives to provide quality education in both English and Spanish.

The school has two programs – the dual language program and the general education program in English that includes one period of Spanish. Teacher Susan Pryor’s kindergarten class is part of the dual language program, a practical method in which her children spend 80 percent of the school day speaking Spanish. As they move up a grade, the Spanish decreases while the English increases until it settles at both 50/50 in the fifth grade and stays there for all grades afterwards. “The biggest thing teachers and administrators need to understand is the better a child learns his first language, the better he’ll learn his second language,” says Luisiana Melendez, clinical assistant professor and director of Erikson‘s online Bilingual/ESL Certificate Program.