The Community Welcome Center operates on the assumption that newcomer students need a period of adjustment not only to the education system but also to the to social environment of this country, safe educational atmosphere that fosters rapid language learning. Acculturation and enhancement of self –esteem.
The Community Welcome Center share these general goals:
Orientation to school and society. All students participate in special classes designed to familiarize them with the school, society and their own communities.
A specialized ESL program emphasizes rapid English language acquisition and academic content instruction.
Access to a wide range of support services such as counseling, tutoring, parent workshops, health services, interpreters, and others.
Individual attention made possible through a low teacher/student ratio. The result is a more intimate setting and closer communication between staff and students, allowing for easier identification of problems and timely intervention.
Specialized teacher training. Staff development is an important feature of Welcome Center.
Multicultural education. Regardless of the language of instruction, the Welcome Center place a high premium on encouraging students to take pride in their native language and culture.
Equitable access to resources. By locating staff and resources on key sites, districts can offer immigrant students throughout the district equitable access to a quality program delivered by trained bilingual teachers. The Welcome Center offers a mean for an initially limited English proficient student to acquire the necessary skills for achieving academic success in an English-speaking world as quickly as possible.
Supportive environment. The Welcome Center shelter newly-arrived students where all students are equal.
Family atmosphere. The Newcomer center create a special environment-almost a family atmosphere which tends to be more conducive to quick assimilation and academic progress than a regular school program.
Continuity during adjustment period. Since newcomer program serve large geographical areas, students are not forced to change schools when their families moves during the first period in the country; students can continue to attend the same new comer program.
Finally, this program is based on the premise that learning does not need to be forced on newcomer students. To the contrary, immigrant students come to America eager and highly motivated to learn and to adapt to a new home and environment. They need a school and environment conduce to their adjustment and an institutional nudge to help them over the initial hump.
(Taken from NCBE Program Information Guide Series, Number 8, Fall 1991)
326 Joliet St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
Tel: (630) 876-2205
Fax: (630) 876-8544