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Service Learning

Eighth Graders Host ELL Buddies

May 18 was an exciting day for 50 ELL (English Language Learner) elementary school students came to spend the day with Derryfield eighth graders. The Derryfield students had already started to build connections with their ELL buddies during two visits to their schools in March and April. Now it was the Webster and Beech Street students turn to come to Derryfield.

The Webster and Beech Street students spent the whole day at Derryfield, engaged in activities planned and organized by our eighth graders. These activities included sailing aluminum foil boats, setting off Alka Seltzer rockets, painting rocks and playing outdoor games. Each ELL student was also presented with two books: one specially picked out by their buddy for them, and a customized book made by their buddy for them. Everyone was appropriately exhausted at the end of the day!

During the three months of this project, Derryfield students learn about the lives of these students who come from many continents, especially Africa and Asia. Some have never lived anywhere other than a refugee camp before coming to Manchester! The ELL students look up to their Derryfield buddies as role models, practice their English and get to have many new experiences.

ELL Teacher Quotes on the Day:
"The kids love this project! It is like having a big brother or sister for them."
"The books they receive become treasures that they share in school and at home."
"(The Derryfield students) give the students the opportunity to practice their conversation skills and academic language in English. Beyond this your students also give my students the opportunity of authentic interaction."
"Please know this has truly made a huge difference for my students."

- Susan Grodman
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The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715