Children identified by their FPS teachers as needing extra assistance to read, write and/or speak English are referred to “Learning by Doing” (LBD) summer acculturation camp. Since the inception of LBD in 2007, the program has been held in July each year. EL students also attend June summer school, but LBD is considered a “camp”. 
Students are transported by a special bus route utilizing the school district’s transportation contract with Valley Bus. The school district does not provide busing for summer activities for traditional students. Ten bus stops were provided to get the students to the site. It usually took 35 minutes to bring the students to LBD in the morning, and 45 minutes to return them to home. Buses are also scheduled for field trips. A snack is served each day. 
According to Fargo Public Schools’ spring ACCESS (language testing) scores, over 90% of the qualified ELL students in elementary classes (K-5) had language skills from Level I to Level III. Level I is defined as “entering”; Level II is described as “beginning”; and, Level III is described as “developing”. The elementary program conducts pre/post testing to establish language and reading levels. This summer, one student told me that “he learns better at summer school because we get to do things.” Summer programs also allow the brand new kids the chance to learn school routines in a smaller setting before they start school in the fall. They learn about appropriate bus behavior, how to check out books at the library, school rules, basic commands, school items, etc. Being exposed to these things makes starting school for the first time in the fall a little easier and less overwhelming for them. Summer school programs do a great job of providing our EL students with different experiences so they have the background knowledge to help them be more successful during the school year.  
Each year, the EL teachers choose a theme. It might be sports, or animals, or community.  This past summer students went to Rheault Farms’ Community Day, ATA Martial Arts, TNT Fitness and bowling. All of these events got our kids into parts of the community that they would not normally have the chance to visit. It also gave them a chance to practice their English skills in a non-academic setting or real world experience. We also had a librarian visit, a zookeeper visit, an NDSU professor came to work with some of our students on computers and typing skills, and a nutritionist taught health/fitness and hygiene, providing background information for things that they will hear/learn about in the regular classroom, and it introduced new vocabulary.  
The basic framework for the half-day program is: (1) students learn about the subject through presentations; (2) students experience a “real life” activity, e.g. visit a farm; and finally, (3) students write about the experience. The relationships built at LBD Summer Camp are unique. The children experience trusting relationships with caring adults, even though they have limited communications abilities. The children are able to learn in a rich environment of small groups, experiential learning and skill-building.
Traditional students should learn approximately 1,000 new words (meanings) each year. LEP students must learn at this pace, too. The goal is to have the students learn 500 new words over the summer.” “Learning by Doing” is positioned as an acculturation camp, defined as “A process through which students can learn the cultural patterns of the country of immigration, including the language and cultural values, without relinquishing their own culture. Acculturation implies that the ELL student and his/her family may learn about the American culture while maintaining a native culture.”