Saturday, September 30, 2023

Coronado High Senior Invites Students to Join Bilingual Babysitting Program

Gigi Dugas, the creator of Coronado’s bilingual babysitting program

Gigi Dugas, a Coronado High School senior, is inviting students to participate in an educational babysitting program. This system is aimed at high school students who speak a non-English language. The students will babysit a child whose family wants to immerse their child in a second language. These children could already know the language or are starting from scratch.

Dugas came up with the idea of bilingual babysitting when she was talking to her family. They were discussing the importance of learning their familial language and how she wishes she’d been more immersed growing up. Learning a second language is common in some households. Either learning from each parent’s different culture, their surroundings, for educational purposes, or pure interest.

Dugas, personally, grew up speaking French and later taught herself Japanese. She hopes to learn Spanish in the next couple months as well. “I believe that being bilingual is helpful to children on so many levels. Being able to understand a larger amount of people and their culture can have a huge impact on someone and it opens up so many opportunities for them,” says Dugas. Being bilingual is a great skill to have throughout your life. Bi-literacy leads to more connections with people in your city or around the world. Also, learning a second language when you are young is much easier than when you are older.

This program’s main purpose would be to provide opportunities for older students to use their non-English languages as a way to strengthen relationships with younger students in the Coronado community. By teaching the younger students, the high school students would also be able to learn more about their own languages and cultures. “Overall, I want to foster a community that is full of diversity and people who embrace their languages and cultures,” Dugas adds. The babysitting program hopes to establish connections with families and CHS students.

Since Dugas is a senior, she is not making this program a school club. Although she notes that, “…if this were to become a club beyond my graduation I would not be opposed.” As of now, she is working independently on gathering a group of students who would like to join the program. She is also attempting to utilize the school to spread the word about the program to families in town. This program, if it becomes based at the high school, would be a great extracurricular for the foreign language program. As well as helping younger students prepare to take the offered foreign language courses in middle or high school.

With this preparation it enriches younger students to have a love of language and could even allow them to obtain the California Seal of Biliteracy. This seal is an award for students who show proficiency in English and another language, like French or Spanish. The award is put on students’ high school diplomas and can be used on resumés.

All students who speak a language other than English and have an interest in the babysitting program should contact Gigi Dugas about signing up – ideally by email, [email protected]; or by phone at 619-359-9650.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.


Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna is student at Coronado High School and has lived in San Diego her whole life. She is an officer to numerous clubs on campus, including: Feminist Club, Creative Writing Club, and Activism Book Club. Maria is also very involved with community service. Her passions include fashion, reading, writing, and travel. She shows her love of literature by being a Coronado Public Library volunteer in her free time and working on her own novella. She has always loved doing activities that let her express herself creatively. Maria plans to study fashion and writing after graduating from Coronado High in 2024. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]