Superintendent of Schools John Oteri and Mayor Gary Christenson visited Ms. Rebecca Corcoran's History class at Malden High School to learn about her students’ Generation Citizen Project. Also attending were Malden’s Communications Director Ron Cochran and Human Services Director Karen Hayes. Generation Citizen is a nationally-recognized organization whose goal is to empower young people through the education system.
The students’ Project has been to explore ways to help residents of various cultures navigate their way to vital services and assistance despite potential language barriers. Malden is home to the most culturally diverse public high school in Massachusetts and in the top 10 nationally in that category, with an estimated 70 native languages spoken. Ron Cochran, who manages the City’s website, explained how the entire website is accessible in a variety of languages including Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Spanish. Additionally, flyers and other materials are made available in multiple languages and the City offers translation services for residents seeking municipal services.
Superintendent Oteri explained that Malden Public Schools follow an accessible path as most handouts and messages sent district-wide to parents are also available in different languages and uses a professional translation service to assist parents when needed. The Mayor and Superintendent took questions from the class and heard students’ opinions on the City’s translation initiatives and suggested adjustments. Several great points were raised including ways that parents may improve their command of English through classes or other means. The Superintendent noted that his staff has already initiated English classes for parents of Malden Public School students this year through the Title One program and that there has been a great response.
Mayor Christenson praised the class for their work on the Generation Citizen project and encouraged them to continue to use City and school officials as a resource in pursuing their project goals in the future.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson