“I have very good news,” Marisol said, a smile growing on her face.
Marisol's children had been in our tutoring program for 3 years now. They’re good kids - attentive, well-behaved, and positive - but all three had started school as ‘English Language Learners’ (ELL’s). Because Spanish is the primary language spoken in Marisol's household, her kids were not technically ‘Fluent English Speakers,’ and so they were given extra attention to ensure that they could succeed with their English language abilities.
Though the system is designed to help the ELL students, many parents are anxious that their children will graduate elementary school without being reclassified as fluent in English. If the students are not reclassified before junior high, they will be required to spend their junior high elective periods in remedial English classes. They are ‘held back’, in a sense, so that they can develop their basic English skills. Unfortunately, this means that some of the most enjoyable parts of school become inaccessible to them.
One of Marisol's youngest, Abril, had seemed particularly “stuck”. A fourth grader, she knew she had to read but just didn’t want to do it. With the help of one of our tutors, she grew to enjoy the reading itself but was still classified an ELL.
But today, Lydia had good news.
“The last of my children was reclassified,” she said, the smile spreading until it covered her whole face, “Abril did it.”
This was Marisol's goal. And Abril's challenge. And with the help of our tutor, they were able to get there.
(Pictured: Abril and her tutor Mandi)