Though school is just on the horizon for most local students, a few went above and beyond to participate in an extra learning program these last weeks of summer.
On Friday, July 28, several students graduated from a Migrant Ed class. This program was hosted by the Family Support Network in partnership with the Merced County Office of Education. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for 10 days, the young learners were immersed in English and math activities.
Eighteen students were involved, boys and girls, from fourth through 11th grades. They came from a variety of schools in the district: from most of the elementary schools to the high school. For two weeks they received an education outside of the “traditional classroom setting.” Essentially, the class is a tool used to provide a better understanding of concepts that will be taught and executed over the next school year, said program officials.
The Math-English Summer Institute was headed by Dr. Viji Sundar. Also involved in the program were several teachers and college students that were able to address each student’s individual needs while also cultivating trust and building a relationship with them.
Joel Ramirez, one of the adults helping teach the children, liked “working one on one with the students and being able to make connections” with them.
“I enjoy this class because the teachers take the time to help and explain everything again,” Alfredo, a student involved with the program, remarked “and (I) feel more comfortable to ask questions.”
After finishing the two-week session, students earned Certificates of Completion for the course.
While creating this program, Dr. Sundar, founder and president of Dr. Sundar Math Center, partnered with the Family Support Network of Oak Valley Hospital District and the Migrant Ed program to have a space to host and funds to create the program, respectively.
“We look forward to providing space for these educational opportunities in the Oakdale community,” said Karen O’Bannon, director of the Family Support Network.
Certificates of Appreciation were also created for coordinators of the event and handed out to those involved in its creation. Among those involved were O’Bannon, Shellie LaMar, and Rosa Mercado.