Mentor Club for Livestream Learners Thrives During COVID-19
How do we provide language immersion to students who are staying home from school and doing long-term Livestream Learning? This is a valid and concerning question, especially during this strange pandemic-dictated time. One answer that is working admirably is the Mentor Club--a virtual ISDenver after-school club that is thriving--and providing many benefits for all its members.
Mentor Club is spearheaded by our Livestream Learning Coordinator, Jessie Bryant, and Middle School teacher Leah Bassoff. Mentor Club is intended to provide our long term Livestream Learners in grades K2- G5 with extra language practice and exposure in their target language. “Each mentee is buddied up with a middle school mentor who volunteers their time each week during this after school club. The younger students, or mentees, practice vocabulary as well as listening and speaking skills through friendly conversations with their middle school mentor,” Jessie explains.
“Each week, we talk about a specific topic, which have included things like holiday plans and traditions, favorite books and movies, and families and pets,” she elaborates. “Mentors and mentees review specific vocabulary words associated with the weekly topic, followed by asking and answering a set of guiding questions. As the mentors and mentees have gotten to know one another, these guiding questions have spurred more natural conversations among the pairs and conversation flows more freely.”
Mentor Club provides this extra language immersion for our students learning from home as well as giving our middle schoolers a chance to step into a bit of a teaching role with their younger mentees. Adds Leah Bassoff: “Part of the IB program includes community service, and this is an example of a wonderful in-house community service activity for our middle school (one that is so fun for them as well.”)
Both Jessie and Leah have been pleased with how well the club has been doing, and Leah says she hopes to see it continue in some form even after livestream learning (hopefully) becomes a distant memory!
Isabelle Valot, now age 17, who grew up in Denver before moving to France with her family, started school here at ISDenver in the French program when she was four years old. Her first teacher was current K3 French teacher Dominique Shortridge, who is still very close to the family.
ISDenver's virtual after-school Mentor Club is thriving and providing many benefits for all its members - including language immersion to students who are staying home from school and doing long-term Livestream Learning.
We the people are responsible to each other and our country, and we must make sure that our students know this. This is far from political “side taking.” It is forming opinions and ideas that are actively challenged and it is the work of great schools.