Fifth grade students dressed in their Colombian attire, and posing for a photo.

Colombian music, bright colors, and extravagant costumes filled Oakley Elementary’s gymnasium as the Dual Language program celebrated Carnaval de Barranquilla. 

For the past three centuries, Colombia has maintained this important tradition. The Carnaval de Barranquilla spans a total of four days, where every part of town is filled with rhythm, dancing, and a beautiful array of colors. This important festival celebrates the most representative expressions of the Barranquilla identity and Caribbean people and culture of Colombia. 

Dual Language teacher Libia De la Rosa is from Colombia and loves to share her culture with students. By bringing the Carnaval de Barranquilla to Oakley Ms. De la Rosa hopes to expose her students to experiences from around the world. 

“The students learn from what Colombia has to offer with this experience as well as the story behind it,” she explained. “As a member of the Participate Learning community and a proud Colombian, I can say that we are more than just teachers. We are representatives of our culture, language, and heritage.”

This school year is Ms. De la Rosa’s last year with Buncombe County Schools as she will head back to Colombia where she plans to share some American cultures with students there. However, she hopes that this school performance is something that the Dual Language teachers will continue to put together. 

“I have been working on this project since 2018, and this is my last year in the U.S.,” Ms. De la Rosa said. “I believe that my colleagues will continue the tradition of sharing amazing cultures and celebrations with our school community.”

As for the Spanish Immersion program at Oakley, Principal Dana Haney is proud of the work the teachers put into the program. This unique program has been very successful for the students.

“This is a great opportunity for parents to immerse their children in a new language and culture,” said Ms. Haney. “Oakley has a diverse population of students with various backgrounds and experiences. Our dual language program helps students to learn from each other. They embrace cultural awareness and diversity. We would like to continue to grow as a dual language school and showcase our learning in new and exciting ways. We hope to have a school-wide cultural night next year.”

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) offers the Dual Language Spanish Immersion program in all six districts in the county. This bilingual program teaches students literacy and content in both English and Spanish. If you are interested in learning more about the program, or how to enroll your child please visit the website below:

Students speaking to the audience at the performance.

Students awaiting to perform, dressed in the colorful attire.