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Barton School marks 42nd year with open house

Program built on volunteers teaches English to foreign-language speakers

The Barton School is celebrating World Literacy Day and the beginning of its 42nd school year with an open house on Wednesday. The school teaches English to foreign language speakers and had between 43 and 48 students last year.

“It’s free. The teachers are all volunteers, the staff is volunteer, the secretaries volunteer,” said the school’s director Mildred Scheel. “We do one-on-one tutoring for adults. It started out as a school for American born foreign language speakers – but now it’s mostly foreign born students that we see.”

Last year, between 65 and 70 teachers volunteered there to teach English as a second language.

Scheel said that may sound like a lot of teachers but some can only volunteer a limited time.

“We try to make sure a student doesn’t have more than two teachers,” she explained.

This year, the school will focus on technological literacy utilizing two new laptop computers purchased using a grant from Rotary Club 21.

More than half of Barton School’s students come from the former Soviet Union, and there are also students from China, Korea, Taiwan and many other countries.

Students often learn about the Barton School through word of mouth.

At the open house, teachers and students will give tours of the school and there will be displays about the Barton School’s history.

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