Former students teach summer education program at Brownsville IDEA schools

Former students teach classes at the Summer Odyssey program at IDEA schools in Brownsville.

The Summer Odyssey program at IDEA schools in Brownsville aims to keep the minds of 70 students on the right path to success during their two-and-a-half-month summer break.

“What’s really tiring for students is not continuing a fun, learning experience, but it’s when they come back from a summer of maybe spending the whole summer in Mexico and not speaking a word of English,” said IDEA Brownsville principal William Corbit. “Not spending much time reading a book, and they come back, and they don’t understand the material.”

The six-week program includes four hours of classes, similar to what students would receive during the school year, mixed in with some summertime fun.

The teachers though, aren’t who you would expect. College students, many of them IDEA alums, teach the courses.

“Being able to show them time goes by really quick: ‘I graduated just like you. I was in your shoes one time and look at me, I’m a teacher now,’” said teacher Carolina Davila.

Teachers undergo an intensive week of training before hitting the classrooms.

“I think it’s very inspirational for the students to be able to see that, and know that, they’re here for a reason, and they’re here for a purpose,” Davila said.

The district plans to review the program to see if it’s built for success in the future. Currently, only IDEA Brownsville, Riverview and Frontier students participate in the program.

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