Creole English Classes to Start This Fall in Palm Beach County
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s playtime with Ronald Pierre Paul and his two daughters. Pierre Paul is Haitian but in his house, the children receive a strong dose of English and Spanish since his wife is Hispanic.
Ronald said he was trying to teach his children Creole.
“And you know I’m the only Haitian-speaking person in the house. So they learn some things but I would like them to learn,” he said.
Pierre Paul said that education is first and foremost in his home. So to know that the Palm Beach County School District will be offering a bilingual Haitian Creole program this fall, he’s glad.
“I think it’s great. I think it helps to bridge the communication gap for those who are coming and for those who have children who were born here like my children and they can use a little more to speak my language” , did he declare. .
The Palm County School District chose Rolling Breen Elementary in Boynton Beach to launch a bilingual Haitian Creole/English program. The plan is for students entering kindergarten to launch the program in August 2022.
The program will help students learn two languages by being taught in both English and Haitian Creole.
“I had the advantage that my parents speak Creole to me and my children don’t, so that’s a big advantage,” said Pierre Paul.
Why is this program so important? Florida has the largest Haitian population in the United States with over half a million people who identify as Haitian/Haitian American.
According to the Palm Beach County School District, nearly 93,000 residents of Palm Beach County speak Haitian Creole. More than 9,500 students in Palm Beach County identify Haitian Creole as their native or heritage language.
The bilingual course is open to any child wishing to take the course.
The bilingual Haitian Creole program begins this fall.