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Sealing Success with Biliteracy

student and staff by the school's elephant statue¡Felicidades! Congratulazioni! Félicitations! 

Congratulations to 15 World Language students from Somers High School. These seniors have successfully completed the requirements of the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) this year.

“I’m proud of myself and my classmates who received the award,” Nicholas Crecco said. “This represents the hard work and dedication to studying a second language over the last six years.”

The NYSSB recognizes high school graduates with a high level of proficiency in English as well as one other world language. NYSSB also helps these biliterate students stand out to colleges and employers, gives them the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century, encourages diversity in a multicultural and multilingual society, and recognizes the importance of world language education.

list of students names who qualified for biliteracy“I have learned so much more about the Italian culture and traditions on top of learning the language itself,” Nicholas said.

Students pursuing the NYSSB are required to create two portfolios showcasing their best work, usually seven to ten examples, in both English and the target languages. They also must create two presentations, one in English and one in their World Language, each five to eight minutes long, and then present them to a panel of teachers made up of English and World Language teachers from the high school and middle school this year.

“My presentation in Italian was a cultural comparison of the life of teenagers in the United States and Italy,” Nicholas said.

An announcement was made by Mr. Bayer. Students celebrated with a cake and were given a small gift to commemorate their accomplishments. This is the second cohort of SHS students to achieve this form of recognition for studying a second language. Recipients of the NYSSB will have a seal affixed to their diploma and will wear a medallion during graduation.

“To students trying to pursue the Seal of Biliteracy,” Nicholas said, “I would tell you that you must be dedicated to your studies in the language. Working toward the Seal is a lot more than just showing up to class every day. It is about embracing the language and culture and being involved in the language after school and after class.”

students by the school's elephant statue