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Alum celebrates successful launch of summer program for ESL students

September 21, 2010

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Mill Park Elementary

While spending his first year teaching at Mill Park Elementary, Tim Schulze M.A.T. ’09 started thinking about ways to help students over the summer to retain what they were learning.

Approximately 90 percent of students at Mill Park Elementary qualify for free or reduced lunch and 60 percent do not speak English at home. In a community with limited resources for educational opportunities, Schulze worried that his students would fall behind and be unprepared to start the next grade.

His concern led him to develop PDX Summer School, a program designed to help underserved students prepare for the next grade. Colleagues donated funds, supplies, and space to tutor students three days a week throughout August in their specific areas of need.

Not only did Schulze find success in working with his students, he discovered that the program provided an opportunity to build stronger connections to the parents in the community as well.

“I think that doing this program and coming to these families and having the families see that the teachers and community do care about them creates bonds, so in the future when we ask them come to conferences they do know you,” Schulze said in an article featuring him and his work. “We are always asking for them to come to us, but I think sometimes it is appropriate for us to come to them.

Learn more about Schulze’s efforts at his program’s website.

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