Teachers across the state will tell anyone who will listen that they know what works in their classrooms and that sharing effective programs with other school districts helps students and teachers.

Sandra Nahmias, Barbara Tedesco, Elizabeth Franks, and Marie T. Pierre of the Harrison School in Roselle (Union County) are doing just that. They will utilize a $1,600 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education to expand their already award-winning program Cafe Ingles into Cafe-to-Go.

In Cafe Ingles, which received a NJ Best Practices Award in 1998 and an Unsung Heroes grant in 2000, a classroom is transformed into a restaurant owned and operated by elementary school-aged English Language Learners (ELLs). These ELLs are the hosts/hostesses, chefs, waiters/waitresses and cashiers; their customers are the school population, teachers, parents, district administrators, and invited guests. Cafe Ingles has proven to be an effective teaching tool for ELLs as it integrates the content areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Music and Visual Arts, and promotes English language acquisition for ELLs through authentic interaction with their English language-speaking peers. It fosters multicultural understanding in the school and community, and exposes both ELLs and mainstream classroom students to the role of money in everyday life, as well as to career skills, responsibilities and opportunities. Cafe Ingles has been operational since 1993.

Cafe-to-Go takes Cafe Ingles on the road to other school districts. Through "life" recreation in their schools, the teachers will learn how to use Cafe Ingles to foster English language acquisition in their ELLs and to satisfy the Core Curriculum Content Standards of: (1) Language Arts & reading; (2) Mathematics; (3) Social Studies; (4) Science; (5) Music; and (6) World Languages/Multicultural Objectives. Teachers will also learn how the Cafe connects to the home as the parents get involved by making homemade, native specialties.

Each district will be provided with a Cafe-to-Go Starter Kit, which includes simple instructions and suggestions for duplicating the Cafe in their classrooms, wax for candles, and duplicating/activity masters for such items as the invitations and menus, and a video depicting the Cafe from the preparation stage to its culmination.

For more information about this project, contact:

Sandra Nahmias
(973) 376-2855