Summer Immersion Excursion Program
Opening Doors to the Opportunity of a Lifetime
Since its start in 2012 as a small summer program for newly arrived Albemarle County English Learners (ELs), Summer Immersion Excursion (SIE) has grown exponentially. Thanks in part to the generous financial support of the Batten Family Fund, Albemarle County has expanded this program to welcome a vast range of multilingual and multicultural students in grades 4-9. Long before the students were invited to attend the five-week session, a dedicated team of educators gathered to plan the learning opportunities for students under the umbrella theme of "life journeys."
Students began each morning by enganging in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities to promote creative and collaborative problem-solving skills. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays consisted of instructional rotations, bridging the language of Math, History, and Science. Additionally, students created digital "My Life Project" presentations to connect their personal experiences with language learning across the content areas.
For the first time in 2018, students were able to participate in weekly swim lessons, thanks of the collaborative generosity of the Brooks Family YMCA and the Just Swim for Life Foundation. In addition, SIE partnered with Dr. Ruth Ferree of UVA's Curry School of Education to give 33 future teachers invaluable apprenticeships in the ESOL classroom.
A highlight of the program--in additional to accelerating students’ language acquisition and acculturation to U.S. schools--were the weekly excursions every Thursday. During the 2018 summer, students participated in educational trips to:
During their five weeks together, students developed new friendships and shared their personal stories. All of their stories revealed a resilience and perseverance that was contagious. Their joy of learning created a foundation upon which to build their future successes.
This program would not have been possible without the hard work and collaboration of a myriad of dedicated school personnel and the generosity of local partners. We extend special thanks to all of our excursion hosts, UVA apprentices, the Brooks Family YMCA, Just Swim for Life Foundation, and the Batten Family Fund. The most rewarding aspect were the students' themselves, who brought their willingness to learn, take risks, work hard, and build new relationships after facing a variety of challenges to get where they are today.
SIE in the News:
Videos of Students In Action:
¡धन्यवाद. Gracias. شكرا. спасибо. Thank you. Merci. Asante!