Mercado at Barbour Language Academy Highlights Local Latin Culture

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The hallways were packed tonight at Rockford’s only Spanish dual-language school, The Barbour Language Academy.

They were hosting the Mercado at Barbour. It’s a marketplace in the school’s hallways where students and parents got to sell things they made by hand. The school says they’ve been growing and more Spanish speaking students whose first language isn’t Spanish are enrolling.

Administrators say tonight was a chance for Rockford to celebrate cultural diversity by learning a little bit about the city’s growing Latino population at a school that focuses on teaching every student Spanish.

Principal Ivelisse Rosas said “Besides the language, we also teach tolerance. We are very tolerant here meaning that we accept all kind of accents, all kind of colors.”

School leaders say they teach English and Spanish at the same time so students are that much more marketable when they join the workforce.

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