SMS’s Yu-Sheng Chuang artwork displayed at county bilingual/multilingual learner symposium

On Monday, April 16, Yu-Sheng Chuang’s artwork was one of the winning entries on display from elementary and secondary student artists at a one-day art exhibit held as part of the National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month Symposium at the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Yu-Sheng Chuang is an Academic English Learner who arrived in the US in 2016 from Taiwan. He has made significant strides to learn English during his two years in our district. Currently, Yu-Sheng is registered in AVID Excel 8 to accelerate his grasp of academic English, and he has recently met the SSD criteria for reclassification as Fluent English Proficient. He is also taking Geometry, the source from which he derived his concept for the shapes and figures in his art piece: “Who is YuSheng?”

Yu Sheng at bilingual symposium with art

In his attempt to fit in with the culture of the US, Yu-Sheng had initially dropped his given name and was being referred to as “Dan” because he felt it was easier to pronounce by English speakers. As he has become more confident about the value and importance of people’s given names, and the expectation to have others recognize and respect them, Yu-Sheng has been more self-assured in being addressed by the name given to him by his parents and family. He has gone as far as expressing it in an artistic way via the drawing submitted to the Santa Clara Office of Education.

“His presence in the classroom is an inspiration to his peers, who look up to him for his artistic talent, as well as his compassionate sharing of knowledge and resources,” said English Language Development and Spanish teacher Patricia Carpio-Aguilar. “He strives to reach the highest possible standards in each and every one of his classes and has impressed all his SMS teachers. Yu-Sheng will assuredly continue to seek out successes and to offer pride and joy to his teachers, his friends, and his family.”

When asked to describe his artwork, Yu-Sheng said:  “In the artwork “Who is YuSheng”, I drew the five symbols that represent me and my identity. First, the flag represents the country where I was born, Taiwan. Second, the calculator shows that my favorite subject is math, and how I like to solve hard math problems. Third, the Badminton rocket symbolizes that my favorite sport is badminton. Fourth, the art palette represents that art is one of my habits, and I like to paint during my free time. Finally, the puzzle pieces show that I enjoy solving complex problems.”

Yu-Sheng's artwork

SSD believes pronouncing student’s names correctly is an important practice in respecting, appreciating, and connecting with students and families. There are numerous benefits related to culturally competent practice including promoting social-emotional wellness, supporting academic and behavioral success, ensuring access to school services and activities to all students, and engaging students and their families in the school community.

The Sunnyvale School District Board of Education adopted a resolution in support the My Name, My Identity campaign on October 20, 2016. The District was recognized with a certificate for its MNMI implementation efforts during a special event celebrating bilingual and multilingual advocacy month on April 27, 2017 and again in 2018.

As a District, we want to make sure we welcome and value our students and their families, and their name is the first part of that. With everything going on around immigration in today’s current climate, this is another step we are taking to ensure our schools are welcoming and inclusive. We want to honor and celebrate the cultures we have here because we value the diversity that makes our community great!

Article written by Ms. Carpio-Aguilar, ELD, EL Support, AVID Excel and Spanish, and District Communications Coordinator Alia Wilson.

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