Michelle Myler, Extended Learning Coordinator
Concord School District
Concord, New Hampshire
How do you make young recent immigrants feel a part of a new and alien community? By bringing the community to them! The Concord, New Hampshire, school district paired 12 English learners, ages 6 to 12, with a team of teachers and volunteers for an immersive, creative program of field trips, art projects and conversation. Hometown studies are a useful idea that can generate Mini-Grant programs as different as the people and places that inspired them.
The students, from Africa and Asia, went on trips to a range of interesting area destinations, from Concord City Hall to the New Hampshire Craftsman’s League. They took pictures, kept journals and made artwork individually and together. Their volunteer partners, who included middle and high schoolers and retirees, helped them sharpen their literacy, academic and social skills. Finally, parents, teachers and volunteers came together for an exhibition of the children’s work. What a welcome!