ESL program showcased at board meeting

Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Members of the St. Marys Area School District's Board of Directors learned more about the district's newly initiated English as Second Language (ESL) program during their regular meeting Monday evening.
"There is a need for this (program) in the district," said Margie Schlimm, the program's full-time teacher.
In attendance at the meeting were several of the ESL students and their families. Among the countries represented in the program are India, Spain, Brazil, China, Belgium and Mexico.
Other students have parents who speak their native language from countries including Russia and Italy.
The high school students involved in the program each speak several languages in addition to English. One exchange student from Belgium speaks six languages.
Schlimm emphasized all students in the program speak English.
A majority of the ESL students attend South St. Marys Street and Fox Township Elementary schools although she visits the middle and high schools on an as needed basis.
Schlimm meets with many of the younger students twice a day with older students seen less, typically meeting every two to three weeks.