WARSAW — Lilly Endowment recently announced that Amy Holton, Washington STEM Academy EL teacher, is a recipient of its 2020 Teacher Creativity Fellowship.
The program will provide Holton with a grant to pursue her passions of community, communication and travel.
According to a Warsaw Community Schools press release, Hilton grew up in Wapakoneta, OH, and chose Huntington University for her teaching degree. While there, she benefited from several education- and service-oriented trips to India, Israel, Turkey and Belize.
In the summer of 2015, Holton spent three weeks teaching English in China. The following summer offered an opportunity to teach English in Nepal. These experiences shaped Holton’s belief that “diversity is one of the most beautiful things we have.” Hilton applied for the Lilly Grant because of her desire to better connect with and love her community. As an EL teacher, 90 percent of her students and their parents speak Spanish.
“What better way to show my students love and respect than to step into their shoes as a language learner,” said Holton.
Holton has three major goals she wants to accomplish by June 2021: become conversationally fluent in Spanish; deepen her understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures and present her learnings in an “All About Spain” unit study with her students; and create a bilingual children’s story about journeying to acquire a new language entitled “El Lenguaje es Poder, Language is Power.”
Holton will begin with online study courses and then travel to Valencia, Spain in June 2020. Her trip will include taking language classes as well as salsa classes, museum tours and immersion experiences that will inform her children’s book.
In May 2021, Holton will finalize “El lenguaje es power, Language is Power” to highlight the adventures, challenges and triumphs of learning a new language. Holton feels extremely blessed to be a part of the Warsaw community and receive this tremendous gift from the Lilly Foundation.