Bilingual Public School Teacher - Gabriela López Wants to Increase Multilingual Access for Families, Students & Teachers
Gabriela López is the only candidate for school board who works as a teacher in San Francisco Public Schools. She is a 5th grade bilingual teacher at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary in San Francisco’s Mission District.
“Speaking the language of your parents and grandparents is so important for every student. It helps families pass their values down to their children and helps students communicate with their parents about things that impact their wellness. With more language access in schools, we can help them do that,” says Gabriela López.
Gabriela López grew up in a hard-working immigrant family. Her parents migrated to the United States for a better life and tried to instill in their children a love of learning, working hard and giving back to the community. Gabriela López works everyday with the hopes and dreams of parents and students.
Parents often talk about language being one of the main barriers to fully participating in their children’s schooling. In a recent report called Our Healing in Our Hands: Findings from a Mental Health survey with San Francisco Unified School District High School Youth, Chinese Progressive Association and Youth Mojo found that one of the main barriers to accessing wellness services was a lack of trust, lack of awareness around outreach, low rates of referral to services, and cultural barriers, especially for Asian-Americans, and students whose primary language is not English.
“Schools need to make more efforts to bridge the language gap between home and school,” says López. “One of the ways we do that is by having language interpreters for Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic and others on call to assist parents and teachers when they trying to communicate with each other. We need to be ready to meet the language needs of all our families so they can have full access to a quality education.”
Gabriela López is a candidate for the San Francisco Board of Education. She is the only candidate in the race who is a public school teacher and works daily in San Francisco schools.