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Monarca Academy serves Indy's multilingual and immigrant children

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Posted at 4:53 AM, Sep 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 11:24:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS — This month is Hispanic Heritage Month and we’re highlighting programs and organizations making an impact in your neighborhoods.

The city of Indianapolis is a melting pot, bringing all different cultures and backgrounds to the Circle City and Monarca Academy, a charter school on the city’s west side, is celebrating that diversity by in the classroom. 

“Honoring kind of all the different lived experiences and kind of cultural funds of knowledge that kids bring with them from outside the classroom,” Felicia Sears, the founding principal said.

Monarca Academy is in its second year. The goal of the charter school is to celebrate the culture and background of Indianapolis’ multilingual and immigrant children.

“Kind of this feeling of never wanting students to feel like they leave a part of who they are at the door,” Sears said.

As the founding principal of Monarca Academy her main priority is to make sure the students at her school feel seen.

“Our programming and our space really allow for students to bring all the things with them. All their backgrounds into the classroom and into the school with them,” Sears said.

About 100 students are enrolled in the academy that serves 6th and 7th graders.

They represent 14 different countries and speak 7 different languages.

Below are the countries Monarca have represented:

  • Mexico (Multiple regions)
  • Dominican Republic
  • Honduras 
  • Nicaragua
  • Salvador 
  • Venezuela
  • Haiti
  • Senegal
  • Kenya
  • Guatemala
  • Puerto Rico
  • USA
  • Philippines 
  • Indigenous (Native American and Mexican Indigenous) 

Below are the languages they represent:

  • English
  • Spanish 
  • Haitian Creole 
  • French 
  • Protégées 
  • Swahili 
  • Indegenius Tongues 

Sears said everything they do is with the kids in mind.
“We want to make sure that we are providing a space that's actually suited for kids it's actually built for kids,” Sears said, “yes there is knowing the skills that they are going to need to the best of themselves up academically and then for success in careers and college beyond but wanting to do that while also getting to honor where they are and they are in all the parts of themselves.”

According to the U.S Census, Marion County’s Hispanic population has more than quadrupled in the last twenty years.

In 2000 the census counted 33,290 Hispanic people living in Marion County, in 2020that number grew to more than 129,286.

Right now, Monarca Academy is only serving 6th and 7th grade but their goal is to grow to a 6 through 12 school in the future.

You can learn more about their school and how to support them by visiting their website.