Hmong Enrichment Programs

  • Over 9,000 Hmong students are enrolled in Saint Paul Public Schools, but many do not know how to read and write in their native language. Hmong Enrichment Programs (HEP) are designed to preserve the language and culture of the Hmong and to provide enriching educational opportunities for all students. Through HEP, students gain a deeper sense of pride in their own culture and language, a greater commitment to their academic success, and a stronger connection with family and community members, especially those who speak little or no English.

    Hmong Dual Language Program

    The mission of the Hmong Dual Languge Program is to develop students who are bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.  Having a strong background in Hmong provides the knowledge and framework for students to understand concepts and ideas in English.  The development of a student's bilingual and biliteracy skills builds self-confidence and gives students a sense of pride in their culture and heritage.  Through the dual language program, students can build stronger connections to parents, grandparents and the larger Hmong community.

    Within the Hmong Dual Language Program, students are taught academic content in Hmong while also learning to read and write in English.  Each year, as students progress to the next grade level, they become increasingly proficient in both Hmong and English.

    The Hmong Dual Language Program is offered at Jackson Preparatory Magnet in grades preK-4 and Phalen Lake Hmong Studies in grade K. 

    Hmong Literacy and Culture Program

    The Hmong Literacy and Culture program is designed to give all students the opportunity to learn Hmong language, culture, and literacy during the school day.  Students participate in classes that focus on various aspects of Hmong culture and develop literacy in the Hmong language.  The program aims to give students more confidence, cultural understanding, and strong language foundations that will aid learning in other content areas.

    Additive or enrichment programs such as the Hmong Literacy and Culture Program develop students’ first language while helping them to gain proficiency in English. Research shows that developing students’ native language can accelerate their academic growth, helping to narrow the achievement gap between ELLs and their native English-speaking classmates. Research also shows that students who can read and write in more than one language and students who have literacy in their first language outscore their monolingual English-speaking peers on standardized tests.

    Hmong Literacy and Culture is available for students in K-8 at various schools throughout the St. Paul Public Schools.

    Schools offering the Hmong Literacy Program are:
    *    Jackson Preparatory Magnet
    *    Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet
    *    Battle Creek Middle School
    *    Washington Middle School

    Hmong Culture, Literacy, Art 'n' Dance (CLAnD)

    Hmong CLAnD is an after-school enrichment program that provides opportunities for all students to learn about the Hmong heritage through four different strands.The four strands are culture, literacy, art, and dance. Each strand can be taught by school staff, parents, or community members. CLAnD students participate in district-wide celebrations. For example, dancers perform at end-of-the-year celebrations, art students share art and textile work so that all SPPS students and families can learn more about Hmong culture.

    The goal of the Hmong CLAnD program is to promote Hmong culture, literacy, art, and traditional dance for all students through quality educational opportunities and connections to the larger community. Hmong CLAnD is held at various elementary and secondary schools throughout the St. Paul Public Schools. Schools can decide to participate in Hmong CLAnD on a yearly basis so the number of school sites offering Hmong CLAnD varies from year to year.

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