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'First Day of College' for FWISD students is now in 18th year

10.23.2017 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

October 26-27 will mark the 18th “First Day of College” Science and Reading Camp for FWISD elementary students.

This annual two-day event is a collaboration with Texas Wesleyan University’s School of Education and Fort Worth ISD elementary schools that educate English Language Learners (ELLs) from all over the world.

Half Price Books will donate two books for every child in attendance, for a total donation of 500 books.

The students, ages 8 to 12, are enrolled in Fort Worth ISD’s Language Centers and are living in town courtesy of the United Nations. Fort Worth is one of just seven U.N. Refugee Relocation Centers in the U.S.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our Language Center students to experience what college life is like for a day, and it truly makes a lasting impact on their future,” Diane Kue, FWISD ESL Implementation Specialist, said.

The students speak several different languages, including Spanish, Arabic and Swahili, and are taught in an accelerated program to learn English within the content instruction for their first three years in the U.S.

The First Day of College includes hands-on learning about science concepts using ESL strategies, reading comprehension and writing activities, and a tour of the Texas Wesleyan University campus.

Impactful teaching experience

Texas Wesleyan students who major in elementary and secondary education participate in the Science and Reading Camp every year as the program instructors.

This is an important opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience teaching kids from all over the world,” Robert J. Wilson, Ph.D., Texas Wesleyan School of Education professor and event coordinator, said. “It gives our students a glimpse at how they will make their mark on the world through teaching.”

Participating faculty from the School of Education for this experience include Dr. Elizabeth Ward,  Dr. Jackie Gaffner, Dr. Lisa Dryden, Dr. Elsa Anderson, Dr. Esther Garza, and Dr. Patsy Robles-Goodwin. 

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