Guilford County Schools teach ESL students during the summer

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Helping kids get ahead for the upcoming school year... that's what Guilford County Schools is doing for about 60 of their rising kindergarten students who speak English as a second language.

The school system received a federal grant to pay teachers during the summer to educate the students on several lessons, including English.

Teacher Christy McNeal is participating in the summer program. She recognizes that the school system has a growing population of students who speak English as a second language.

“They may already know it in whatever their native language is, but they are going to learn these things in English so that when they begin kindergarten they aren't starting with a deficit,” McNeal said. “We are doing language activities, we are doing lots of reading, lots of basic things that are going to help the children once they begin kindergarten. I wanted to be a part of this program because I felt it was going to be so beneficial for the children a part of it.”

The kids, who range in ages of 4 to 6, spend the month of July at either Rankin Elementary or Fairview Elementary.

Students are bused in, arriving at school around 7:30 a.m. and leaving at 2 p.m. Students are provided lunch and additionally, the Guilford Education Alliance provides snacks for students.

This is the first time the school system has done this program and educators hope to bring it back next year. Students are given assessment tests at the beginning and end of the program to measure their educational growth through the month-long program.

The program also offers parent sessions where moms and dads can come in and learn skills as well, while also learning how to help their child at home with school work.

During the program, students also went on field trips including to the Greensboro Children's Museum and Greensboro Science Center.

The program is free to families.

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