October 29, 2015
My absentee ballot was mailed today with a vote for Dr. Kelly Kent. It is rare that we have someone with her qualifications on our school board.
An educator, Dr. Kent understands the learning process and will put in the time and energy to provide our students with what they need to excel both as students and as citizens. Based on her research and classroom expertise, she knows how children learn.
With her children attending Linwood Howe, where there was no foreign language program, Kelly started the volunteer Spanish language program taught before school. The immersion programs in the CCUSD can only accept a limited number of students, and Dr. Kent realized the need to provide an opportunity for other elementary school students to learn a second language.
At UCLA in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s I was one of Dr. Russell Campbell’s students when the immersion program in CCUSD began. In succeeding years, I also had the opportunity to work with FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) programs throughout California and was involved in research projects which showed that young children not only have the ability to develop language skills early, but by learning a second language while in elementary school, they can later learn other languages more readily and achieve higher levels of cognitive development.
Dr. Kent, with her background in neuroscience, clearly recognizes that children at this age show more mental flexibility, more creativity, divergent thinking skills, and improved listening and memory skills, enabling them to process language early on.
Dr. Kelly Kent’s initiative and her dedication to making certain that the children in all our elementary schools will have the opportunity to learn a foreign language has demonstrated to me that she will do an excellent job as a member of the CCUSD school board.
Dr. Janet Cameron Hoult
Professor Emerita of Language Education
California State University, Los Angeles
Charter College of Education