For Educators: Welcoming English-Language Learners at Medford High School (Project Idea)
The KIND Schools Challenge team at Medford High School in Medford, Massachusetts has been working tirelessly to create a collection of videos to help English-language learners (ELL) at their school feel more confident navigating everyday tasks at school and in their community. Here’s what the students have to say about the their project.
What is your vision for your KIND Schools Challenge project?
Our vision for our project, the ELL Give Back Program, is to make students who are learning English feel more comfortable at our school and make sure they have the resources for this to happen. Two of our group members have gone through ELL programs and understand the struggles that immigrants can face when arriving in a new country and school.
We have constructed our website to give students easy access to videos that will help them in their daily lives at school, like how to get a bus pass or what to do if you are late. We really want to get the word out so we can help as many students as possible as well as make people more aware of how difficult it is to be an immigrant.
What has been the most surprising outcome of your KIND Schools Challenge project so far?
One surprising outcome of our project was that we planned our own advisory activity for our entire school to participate in. During our activity, students watched a video in their homeroom class where immigrants at our school talked about their experiences. This was followed by a discussion about how we can help immigrants and how we can make the lives of immigrants a little less challenging.
Our group members were able to visit other classes while students were participating in the activity and the experience was awesome. The students gave us great suggestions and really positive feedback.
What are you looking forward to most as you continue your work on the KIND Schools Challenge?
Something that our group is really looking forward to is being able to take any suggestions given to us and do something positive with them. When we created our own advisory activity, we had students give us suggestions on what else they thought we could do to help the ELL students at our school. They had some great suggestions, such as creating a buddy system or a welcome center for those that do not speak a lot (or any) English. We would love to work with our school to execute these amazing ideas and we hope that is something we can do in the future.
Originally published May 2018.