Promoting Children’s Academic Performance and Social Inclusion in Marginalized Settings: Family and Community Participation in Interactive Groups and Dialogic Literary Gatherings
In May 2013, Adira, an eight-year-old girl with an immigrant background, spoke in front of more than 350 teachers, families, and students who attended the national meeting on Dialogic Literary Gatherings in Spain. In her impressive speech, she told the audience the story of her school where children, teachers, and families dare to dream. Without formal education and being from a very low socioeconomic status, her parents left Morocco, their home country, and settled down in a deprived neighborhood in a city in Northern Spain. Her story could have been the story of many immigrant children who are beaten by segregation, assigned to lower ability groups with low expectations placed on them, and experience disengagement and failure in school (Delpit, 1995; Oakes, 1985). Against all the odds, Adira was succeeding educationally, socially, and emotionally in an inner-city school where the self-fulfi lling prophecy for many immigrant students was not accomplished.