Boston Preschool Launches First Creole-Haitian Dual Language Program


May 14, 2024

Mattahunt Elementary School, a Pre-K through fifth grade school located in Boston, Mass., just launched the first Haitian Creole dual-language preschool program in the country, NBC News reports.

The Toussaint L’Ouverture Dual Language Academy, the new program at Mattahunt Elementary named after the leader of the Haitian Revolution, is a preschool program that aims to help immigrant families become part of the community and resolve language barriers for new students entering the classroom environment for the first time.

“I grew up in a place where it wasn’t OK to say that you were Haitian, and there was a lot of discrimination against Haitian people,” said ​​Priscilla Joseph, Academy founder and teacher at the school who is Haitian American herself. “So I kind of took my own experiences and entered that into the classroom, knowing how it feels to be a little bit different, or a little bit outcasted, because of your culture.”


A majority of the Mattahunt students are Black, with 97% overall considered nonwhite. Out of the 512 students, 132 learn in the dual language program. Boston boasts the third-highest population of Haitian immigrants in America, and Mattahunt has a high volume of Haitian-American students. 

The new one-of-a-kind preschool program includes a curriculum that teaches all subjects, incorporating both Haitian Creole and English during class. The Academy also helps students serve as translators for relatives who are immigrants and may not speak English. Mattahunt faculty also receive this training to help them better communicate with parents.


The Toussaint L’Ouverture Dual Language Academy is on a mission to help Haitian students in Boston take pride in their heritage by dismantling stereotypes and teaching students about Haiti’s rich history, culture, and legacy. 

Cover photo: Boston Preschool Launches First Creole-Haitian Dual Language Program / Photo credit: NBC News

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