Summer Immersion Excursion Program

English Learners visit the Science Museum of Virginia.

Opening Doors to the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Since its creation in 2012 as a small summer program for Recently Arrived 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 3-9.  For the first time in 2019, we included Former and Long-Term ELs and students transitioning between elementary, middle, and high school.  Additionally, we welcomed three exceptional program alumni who paid it forward to the next generation by serving as student Teacher Assistants.  

A teacher and student share a bonding moment together.

​Students began each morning by engaging 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.

​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 2019 summer, students participated in educational trips to:

English Learners learn to kayak at Walnut Creek.

​During their month 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, the Batten Family Fund, and the Agnor-Hurt Elementary School team for hosting us.  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:

English Learners relax in the shade after hiking.

¡धन्यवाद. Gracias. شكرا. спасибо. Thank you. Merci. Asante! ​