TEWKSBURY -- Students in the Tewksbury Public Schools' summer-school program participated in service-learning projects that will assist English Language Learners in making an easier transition to the school district.

"It is just so rewarding to see students who may not be typically in the forefront of our school system -- to see them shine is incredible," said Cynthia Basteri, summer-school director. "Tewksbury is an exemplar for the state and the nation in how we tie service learning to the state standards."

Wynn Middle School students created multilingual signs with universal symbols. The signs have symbols that correspond to the room's use, such as cafeteria, bathroom and nurse. The signs will be displayed in all school buildings.

"Immigrants have a hard time learning our language," Wynn student Brett Nkabasele said. "We had an opportunity to help them out a little bit. We felt like we made a difference."

Tewksbury Memorial High School students created "Welcome Packages" that include school supplies for the new students.

"I feel the project will benefit the ELL students," TMHS student Matthew Toppi said. "I feel it will make them more comfortable, adjust better and help them with their actual schoolwork with the supplies we provided."

"The ELL students are the same as they are, aside from culture and language," Karen Hodgson, lead ELL teacher, said of the students. "They helped my kids so I appreciate them very much for what they did."


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