On July 8th, 22 Reader to Reader mentors started working with students at Holyoke Public Schools' groundbreaking summer academy called the ELL Summer of Power.
Combining academic discussions, project workshops, and afternoon internships and jobs, the ELL Summer of Power is providing a unique opportunity for English language learners.
Organizers chose Reader to Reader to implement the academic discussion piece, and Reader to Reader brought in college-age mentors from neighboring colleges and universities to work with the students on books like Call Me Maria, by Judith Ortiz Cofer; Mexican Whiteboy, by Matt de la Pena; and The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, by Sonia Manzano. One group is reading (and staging scenes from) Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
Working with certified ELL teachers, the mentors lead small groups in developing skills that help students to read and talk about books successfully in a classroom setting.
We are truly excited to be working with Holyoke Public Schools on an empowering program that can truly serve as a model for other districts.