Zoom School Academies helping struggling students - 8 News NOW

Zoom School Academies helping struggling students

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LAS VEGAS -- The first ever Zoom Schools Summer Academies are underway around the Las Vegas valley to help thousands of local kids who are struggling in the classroom.

The academies are part of a statewide literary initiative aimed at helping students who are not proficient in English and at risk of not graduating.

The zoom program started last summer, and is still going strong with its first summer academies now in their third week.

The goal is to get kids to continue reading and writing even when school is out for the summer. Teachers picked the students who needed extra help.

Lizette Guemez may speak little English but her smile needs no translation. Guemez says, through her 16-year-old daughter Esveydi, her youngest son Victor can struggle at times with his English even when his family steps in to help.

"Me, my mom, my dad, my sister we are there for him," Esveydi said.

This summer Victor is getting extra academic assistance in the classroom. He is among some 9,000 southern Nevada students taking part in the first-ever Zoom Schools Summer Academies.

"With 17 extra days, full days of instruction, we are able to access all the skills they have been practicing in the last nine months," Cortez Elementary School principal Patty Rosales said.

Rosales says Cortez Elementary is one of 14 local schools designated as zoom schools, under a new statewide literary initiative aimed at helping English language learners.

Rosales says with resources like reading centers and smaller class sizes; she has seen some students improve their reading and writing skills by up to two or three grade levels.

"As a principal, it makes me thrilled we are impacting one more child to help them with their future," Rosales said.

Esveydi Guemez hopes her brother will continue to do well in school so they can fulfill their mother's dream of having all of her children graduate from high school.

The Zoom School Program is funded by the state through 2015.

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