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Teacher receives $2,500 for ESL

PAYSON — The Utah Credit Union Association awarded a grant to a Payson Junior High School teacher for textbooks for students who are learning English as a second language.

Janelle Jensen received $2,500 from the association's 100 Percent Kids program to buy the textbooks. She has ordered the books and expects them to arrive in a couple weeks, she said.

When Jensen began teaching ESL students last year at Payson Junior High, she had no textbooks for her students.

"I kept asking, 'What am I supposed to use? What is my goal here? ' I couldn't get an answer," she said. "I was just pulling things out of the air, trying to do the best I could."

Jensen, who applied for the money last spring, learned about the grant from other teachers at the Payson school who had received it.

She knew she wanted to use the "Side by Side" curriculum published by Prentice Hall. She teaches from the books to adults at night at the Nebo Learning Center.

"This is a purely grammar-based curriculum," she said.

There are about 40 students in the ESL program at Payson Junior High. Jensen teaches the students who have the least exposure to English.