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Michigan eLibrary provides materials in student's native language

Thomas Park

Teachers across the state have been struggling to find resources for students who need to learn in their native language.

The Michigan eLibrary is making this possible for teachers.

Ann Kaskinen, a Michigan eLibrary engagement specialist, said there’s a group of passionate teachers that work with these students with few resources.

“I'm showing like Britannica that has 80 different languages in it that can translate the articles and show the double click dictionary,” Kaskinen said. “I show these things to these teachers, some of them cry, some of them cheer and applaud. It's like they've kind of been forgotten.”

The translating resource is being implemented in northern Michigan, which have populations of migrant workers.

Kaskinen said the easy access gives refugees in Michigan a chance at a better education. There are Rwandan refugees coming into Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

With the help of these resources, Kaskinen said students from third to twelfth grade who only know Kinyarwandan are able to get translated academic material online.

Kaskinen said she's already being booked to share these materials with teachers and will be with Alma schools in the summer.

Michael Gonzalez is a fourth year at Central Michigan that majors in journalism. He is from Pinckney, Michigan, will be an intern for WCMU and the Alpena News this summer.