August 11, 2023
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the end of summer Jump Start and Se Levanta projects at International School #45. Though all of my summer visits have been noteworthy, this visit left quite an impression on me. The enthusiasm and joyful energy that I felt from Principal Sarah Gunter, staff, and students was profound and can't be fully understood without having been there to witness it firsthand. Principal Gunter shared that about 500 students were enrolled in both Jump Start and Se Lavanta and student attendance has been phenomenal. The programs and their important purpose is best described in Principal Gunter's remarks below:
Every summer, International School # 45 has the privilege of hosting two incredible full day summer programs for our BPS students. The Jumpstart program serves students in grades k-12. This program provides additional supports for children who are at the early stages of learning English and who have been in the United States for a year or less. The Se Levanta summer program provides additional support for children in grades PreK - 5 bilingual programs. The focus of this program is further developing their academic literacy skills in Spanish while also embracing and expanding on their understanding of Latino culture.
This program is successful due to our dedicated teachers, Americorp volunteers, Journey's End language coaches, and our amazing office staff. The countless hours Mrs. Heredia, Mrs. Fitch and Mrs. Nasser from the Division of Multilingual have spent organizing enrichment opportunities, staffing, and problem-solving barriers is second to none. Our coordinators, Ms. Ann Mari Hernandez and Mr. Wilfredo Garcia continues to ensure students are here (80% attendance!), learning, growing and are safe by overseeing the program.
I don't think I've taken as many pictures as I did on this visit. There was just so much to capture. Hopefully, they show at least some of what I felt on my visit. I can't commend enough the work from Principal Gunter, teachers, aides and assistants, the BPS Multilingual Department, and staff from our critical community-based organizations. The success of this program and the achievement and joy experienced by the students would not be possible without all of them.
Video of volcano experiment:
Vice President of Student Achievement
Buffalo Board of Education