Language Learners Get A Head Start In Levittown
A summer program in the Levittown School District that provides additional support to English as a New Language students had a new look this year. In addition to literacy instruction, the ENL Jumpstart program included science and technology classes.
More than 50 students, entering kindergarten through sixth grade, enrolled in the free three-week program. They came for three hours a day, double the amount of instruction time offered in past years. Children began each day with a warm-up activity, such as coloring, before rotating through literacy, science and technology blocks, as well as snack and movement time.
In the literacy centers, younger students focused on letter identification and sounds, while older elementary students read short stories and wrote responses. They also kept daily journals. The new STEM classes, led by a middle school science teacher, included the study of the butterfly life cycle, dissection of owl pellets and building of racecars, planes and boats. Many of those activities took place in the outdoor classroom at the Levittown Memorial Education Center.
There were also themed activities in all classes. Children learned about dinosaurs by reading books, doing computer research and creating imprints.
"This program is really a bridge between last year and the upcoming school year," said ENL teacher Carol Rimler, coordinator of the summer program. "The children really benefit because they need the continuum of services. It's also a nice way for them to get out and socialize."
Michele Ortiz, the district supervisor of ENL, added that the program gave incoming kindergartners the chance to learn about basic classroom routines. All students in the program also received information about obtaining a public library card to continue their literacy growth.