Bilingual in Boulder: The cultural knowledge of transnational Mexican and Latinx children (PDF)

(Andrea Dyrness, Jackquelin Bristol, and Daniel Garzón)

From the Introduction:
Directly across the street from the University of Colorado-Boulder, framed by the picturesque
Flatiron peaks, sits one of Boulder’s oldest elementary schools and one of three dual language schools
in the Boulder Valley School District, University Hill Elementary. In a County that is predominantly
white (90%) and wealthy, Uni Hill serves a population that is 68% Latinx, 51% English Language
Learners, and 56% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Uni Hill’s Latinx families belong to a
community that is largely invisible to visitors to Boulder and most students on CU’s campus. Many
are mixed-status families with one or more immigrant parents of undocumented status, working in the
informal and service economies. In a city whose median home price reached $1,557,500 in March
2021, up from $1 million a year ago, many Uni Hill Latinx families reside in mobile home
communities and subsidized housing in Census tracts with high rates of poverty. As low-income,
Latinx English Language Learners, they belong to a community that is underrepresented on campus
and face multiple barriers to higher education. Behind these simple descriptors, however, are complex
sociocultural, political and economic realities and lived experiences that offer unique cultural resources
for surviving and transcending inequality. The cultural mentoring program at Uni Hill aims to
excavate these resources and make them available to support students’ educational journeys.