Speakers enrich English as second language classes at middle school

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Every Friday since the beginning of the school year, Nancy Muldoon has invited people from different agencies to speak to her English as a second language (ESL) classes at Craig Middle School.

Students involved in the program range from fifth grade to eighth grade and while most of the students are native Spanish speakers, one student hails from Russia. Muldoon brings in speakers who can act as role models to her students and those who can help the students realize their goals.

"This is all about kids who can succeed if you let them know there are possibilities," Muldoon said. "This is wonderful exposure in a lot of ways and it builds a better relationship with the kids. It introduces them to things they might not otherwise see."

Muldoon invited Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Recreation Assistant Bill Jackson to speak to the class Friday about his experiences with the Peace Corps.

Jackson spent two years in Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer, which he said catapulted him into his career with the BLM. His task in Honduras was to manage national parks.

This type of community outreach from the BLM is meant to help students realize what is available in the world.

"It provides an outlook on careers with the BLM and the different things they do," Jackson said.

Jackson's presentation included a slide show, map reading, pictures and Jackson spoke in both English and Spanish to the delight of the students. He spoke on the meaning of volunteering and helping others for little money and little recognition. His talk coincided with Muldoon's teaching as she devotes much class time to social studies and geography and "what's around us."

"We want to make them proud of where they are and who they are," Muldoon said.

Muldoon holds a master's of business administration degree in international marketing and has traveled extensively throughout the world. She has been teaching ESL classes as a way to share her knowledge and to help.

"This is my twilight song to give back to the kids," Muldoon said.

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