It is fitting that East Greenbush Central School District’s K-12 Summer Immersion Program for immigrant students started the week of Independence Day. As the nation celebrates its founding, the program’s 45 students, who were all born outside the United States, are learning more about this country’s history and culture while continuing their practice of the English language.
“The students feel like a family when they come together and explore the local community,” said Head Teacher Lisa Mahar.
The three-week program is hosted at Howard L. Goff Middle School and provides students from each of the district’s seven schools with a cultural immersion experience. Students keep journals, have in-school lessons and take field trips to local museums, fire departments, police departments and parks.
“These hands-on activities immerse the students in the language that many of them are learning,” Mrs. Mahar said. “Each week they write about these outings through a travel journal that will include a picture.”
The program is free for the district because of a Title 3A grant that was secured by school district administrators.
“This is a wonderful opportunity afforded to our students and families at no cost to our district,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction James McHugh. “This grant-funded program provides opportunities for our students to gain a better understanding of our local communities while being fully engaged in our language and local culture.”