The purpose of this project is to provide field trip experiences for students in the Newcomer Center at Willow Creek Middle School. The Newcomer Center is an intensive English language program at Willow Creek Middle School in Rochester, Minnesota. The focus of the program is to provide basic English language literacy as well as cultural and school orientation to new arrivals. Students with minimal or no knowledge of English study at the Newcomer Center to learn enough oral language, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing to successfully access information taught in other classes at their grade level. In addition to English language classes, students also study mathematics, physical education, art, and computer technology.
Field trips are an integral part of the curriculum. They provide authentic language experiences in the community for students who are new arrivals. We prepare them for field trips by engaging in vocabulary study, discussion, and readings connected to the topic of the field trip. After the experience, there are activities that reinforce and extend what has been learned during the trip. Not only are field trips an excellent educational opportunity for our students, but they are also an essential component of assisting these students with adjusting to life in a new school, country and culture.