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Language Access

The importance of multicultural communication came to a head at the onset of the pandemic. When Leah Palmer, English Language Learning (ELL) Director for the public schools, called the Community Foundation with an urgent need for trained interpreters, we responded by funding training, salaries, and insurance expenses for medical interpreters. 

This initiative spawned the Communication Ambassador Partnership (CAP), an inter-agency collaboration providing bi-lingual English and Portuguese instruction to facilitate bi-directional multicultural communications. 

CAP has evolved from a crisis-response initiative to a nonprofit organization. It offers translation certification classes to high school students, training for the next generation of interpreters, and a mentorship program pairing immigrant high school students with community members to help students successfully navigate life after high school. 

“The Community Foundation’s critical funding has helped provide language access in many pockets of the Island community that did not have language resources.”
—Leah Palmer, ELL Director, Martha’s Vineyard public schools

Rebecca Haag
Executive Director at Island Grown Initiative
Trained interpreters helping to provide language access in the Island community. Photo: Jeanna Shepard / Vineyard Gazette