William O. Schaefer Elementary School

Last Friday morning, Tappan Zee High School English Language Learners shared autobiographical stories they’d written with an enthusiastic audience: William O. Schaefer Elementary School second-graders!

“[Librarian] Lois Parker-Hennion and I collaborated on this project,” explained English/ENL teacher Dana Stranges. “We’ve been exploring the value of stories and why stories matter, and then students wrote and illustrated their own stories.”

“I’ve worked with this group for the past two years,” said Teaching Assistant Rita Sarubbi. “I see a lot of improvement in terms of vocabulary, sentence structure and pronunciation.”

Grade 2 teacher Celine Zatarga jumped at the opportunity to host the high schoolers. “We have also been writing personal narratives, so it’s exciting for kids to see what’s ahead as they grow in their own storytelling. But it’s been especially wonderful because second-graders often struggle with reading aloud. Seeing someone older who is also working on this–it’s just great modeling.”

TZHS student shares his autobiographical story with second-grade student TZHS ELL students with second-graders in Ms. Zatarga's classroom

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