New school to teach English to immigrant children

The program is at Eastern Suffolk BOCES at the Ward Technical Center in Riverhead.

The program is at Eastern Suffolk BOCES at the Ward Technical Center in Riverhead. (3/9/15)

RIVERHEAD - Long Island's first school designed to teach English to young immigrant students opened in Riverhead today. 

The program is being offered at Eastern Suffolk BOCES at the Ward Technical Center in Riverhead.

The goal is to teach students English and other basic skills so that they can transition back to high schools in Suffolk.

So far, 10 students have signed up, mostly ages 16 through 21. The classes are offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, so students can work during the day. 

"So many students that we're seeing coming to Long Island don't have a formal education from the countries in which they're coming, so emerging them in a language-rich program is something we've been targeted with and asked to so from the school districts," said Gina Reilly, director of special education at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. "We're also teaching them consumer skills, how to access a bank account, so that they're independent."

The school says it could expand to cater to students from western Suffolk.

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