Everyone loves Miss Ginger—and to prove it, they created a celebration to honor their favorite IVC volunteer Ginger Goomis at Dual Language Academy this past spring. Preparation for this day had begun weeks before but the excitement was difficult to contain on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Students filed into their gym and took seats, barely able to contain their enthusiasm for what was about to take place. A good surprise can be difficult for many to keep, but these students included the ages between preschool and 5th grade, which is the student body population of Dual Language Academy. Dual Language Omaha’s only bilingual preschool and elementary school serving 24 zip codes in the Omaha metro area.
Once all were seated—some squirming with excitement, Principal Angela Smith-Gonzalez announced that it was “Miss Ginger Day”. The students erupted into clapping and cheers, someone ran forward with a cape, crown, and flowers. Each of the grade levels had prepared a special presentation for Ginger Goomis, IVC Service Corps Member who has served at Dual Language Academy in Omaha for six years. Preschoolers sang songs in English and Spanish Songs were sung in both English and Spanish, another grade sang and danced to an elementary favorite “Boom Chicka Boom” and Miss Ginger took it all in. You could feel the love in that gym and she also was crowned and adorned with bouquet gifts. “We love Ginger,” says Angela Smith-Gonzalez, Principal, “She comes and helps in any way that she can often for more hours than she has promised through IVC. She is a great addition to our staff and community.” Dual Language Academy is the first and only school of its kind in Omaha. They bring together native English and Spanish speakers to learn, grow, and worship together. Students from Dual Language not only have oral, reading, and writing skills at grade level in English but also Spanish, immersing the students in a gradual approach so that by 5th grade their day is spent 50/50 in each language. The program is based on Boston College’s Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools, being one of only 15 schools nationally using this format.
The Omaha Ignatian Volunteer Corps has partnered with the Omaha Archdiocese to assist in their Catholic School Consortium of Schools, six schools with the same mission to serve southeast Omaha to offer optimum student outcomes and financial efficiency. The Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Omaha partners with two of the Consortium Schools, Dual Language Academy and Our Lady of Lourdes.