Tabor Academy and Roosevelt Middle School in New Bedford, Massachusetts, recently began a partnership that will run through the end of the year.
Thirteen different Spanish classes have been traveling to Roosevelt Middle School on a rotating, cyclical basis to work with ELLs (English language learners), who comprise nearly forty percent of the student population at the school. Over twenty students are new to the school, having been displaced by the devastating Hurricane María in their homeland of Puerto Rico. While most of these ELLs are Spanish speakers, others speak Cape Verdean Creole.
By the end of the year, each Spanish class will have spent about four hours working and building relationships with peers in New Bedford. During our hour-long slots, Tabor students:
assist with English language acquisition
provide general academic tutoring
facilitate communication between the school and the students’ families
mentor their partners and serve as positive, older role models
The intercultural development that is possible for both parties as they learn with and from another student with a unique perspective is invaluable.
This initiative is a reincarnation of the AMIGOS Project, initially developed by the Immigrants’ Assistance Center of New Bedford and launched at Roosevelt Middle in 2009. We are proud to be helping to bring this worthy endeavor back to life and look forward to growing our involvement in the year ahead.