ESOL picnic held at Carl Miller Park


DaEun Han paints a heart design on the cheek of fellow fifth grader Alexandera Weah at the ESOL picnic.

A picnic brought together participants in the English for Speakers of Other Languages program.

Students, their families and teachers of the Coweta County Schools’ ESOL program gathered together recently for their annual picnic at Newnan Utilities’ Carl Miller Park. The event celebrated another successful school year.

The picnic is in honor of those students in the ESOL program in the Coweta County schools. 

Although most of the students in the program are Hispanic, the ESOL program also includes South Koreans, Eastern Europeans and Mandarin Chinese, according to Rusty Knorr, director of the ESOL program. More and more Koreans are moving to the area because of the KIA plant in LaGrange.

“The whole purpose is to help students become proficient in English,” Knorr said. “The earlier they start, the more fluent they will become.”

Currently there are 429 ESOL students in the Coweta public school system taught by 15 teachers. Knorr said it takes between five and seven years for students to become proficient in English. 

“That is our goal, to make them proficient,” he said.

The annual picnic has been held for about the last 11 years and is a great celebration for the families and teachers. Community representatives with information about their organizations also attend. Their information helps with continued English acquisition during the summer vacation.

The picnic has become an important event for these families since it gives them a chance to interact with their children’s teachers and other families. Many say they look forward to it every year.

This year’s picnic was held April 27.

“It was very well-attended, with about 130 people present,” said Mary Anna Vincent, ESOL parent liaison.

The ESOL teachers were present and brought pictures of their students.

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