Thurston English Language Program makes learning language and science fun and relevant

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

The annual Thurston English Language Summer Program partners with the Leslie Science Center to provide experiential learning opportunities aligned to the AAPS science curriculum.

“We explicitly focus on building content area vocabulary and background knowledge along with the English skills in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing so that students are prepared to use this academic language in the coming school year,” says Chris Culbertson, Logan EL teacher.

The two-week program is designed for entering 3rd-5th grade English learners from the northeast elementary schools—A2 Steam, Logan, Thurston, and King. 

Students are identified for the program by their English proficiency scores. 

Chris Culbertson helps one of the Engligh Language Summer Program students with an assignment.

In addition to Culbertson, the team includes Jane Taylor (Program Director/Thurston EL Teacher); Natasha Stewart (Logan teacher); Dairia Mustapha (A2 Steam and Ann Arbor Open teacher); Patti Jarosz (King teacher),  as well as five bilingual teaching assistants, and two bilingual teen volunteers. 

Teachers Dairia Mustapha and Jane Taylor, program coordinator
Teacher Patti Jarosz engages students of the two-week program.

On the last day of the program, parents joined their children in the media center and watched a video highlighting the previous two weeks.

“It’s a wonderful way to learn language in a way that is comprehensible and fun,” says Culbertson. 
Learn more about the program here:

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