the following was submitted by Heather Famico.
As you may know, the city owns and operates the Teen Resource Center which is located at 50 Leavitt St. in Salem. The center is used by the Plummer Home for Boys for teen services in the afternoon - music club, basketball tournaments, dance club, anger management classes and has an on-site counselor for the teens. Recently, we formed a partnership between the Teen Resource Center and the North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC) to use the center to provide NSCDC English classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8PM. At present, we have 9 students, all from the Dominican Republic, who speak limited English.
On May 10, Chief Paul Tucker came to our class. He arrived in civilian clothes, introduced himself using his title and first and last name and then became an active member of our class. My students were using family member vocabulary, while working on pronouns, possessive adjectives, and the pronunciation of the final /s/ sound in possessive suffixes. Students first had to make fake family trees using cutouts of people from magazines. After, they used their fake family trees to practice dialogue - "Who is she?" "She's my ____" "What's her name?" "Her name is____."
During the dialogue activity, Chief Tucker partnered with two different students. After he and his partners practiced their dialogues a few times, he asked them about their families and told them about his own. One student has three children in the Salem Public Schools (one in middle school and two in high school) - the two of them started talking about the prom, and he told her that he was working at the prom and would keep an eye on her son. The student had a GIANT smile on her face.
Before he left, Chief Tucker thanked all of the students for attending the class, told him that they were doing a great thing, that they were all doing so well, that he was happy to join our class, and that he would return again. Although my students were very nervous at first, they were very impressed that the police chief came down, that he recognized their efforts, and that he actually cares!
I am thoroughly impressed with Chief Tucker's commitment and support of all members of the community he serves.