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PG&E provides perks to youth learning English as 2nd language
ChAMP--Pic 1a
San Joaquin County Office of Education Multilingual Program Director Mark Condit hands out a certificate to Emmanuel Perez Tuesday morning at French Camp School for his completion in the Ch.A.M.P. program. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
FRENCH CAMP – Mark Condit knew that he had something special when he came up with the “Children Achieving Multiple Proficiencies” program for the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

As the Multilingual Education Program Director, two years ago Condit came up with the idea for Ch.A.M.P as a way to both promote the learning of English among elementary-age students that may speak something different at home and recognize those who complete the program.

Tuesday morning, several dozen students from French Camp Elementary School received both certificates honoring their achievement as well as book bags containing several new books – like a dictionary and thesaurus combo, a math activity book, and another English language math book that helps promote learning outside of the classroom.

According to Condit, just seeing the smiling faces on the students who succeed and are recognized is what drives him to take the program to even greater heights.  

“Just to see the significant achievement that these students have earned and the recognition they receive – it is something great to show the parents,” Condit said. “It helps promote students to speak more than one language, whatever that may be, and sometimes just the smiles of these kids that feel that they’ve done something special is the huge payoff.”

A $15,000 grant from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. helped purchase the books that are being distributed to students in third through fifth grade that complete the program.

While the initial pilot only included a handful of schools in Manteca Unified School District, Condit says that he plans on including five Stockton schools within the next year, and hopes that the success of the program only continues to grow.

“It’s such a great sight to see a student excited about getting a new book that they just recently learned how to read or understand,” Condit said. “That’s something we’d like to bring to even more schools.”