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Dear Parents and Guardians:

Welcome to my English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom at Arthur M. Pico School #8.

My name is Mrs. Melissa Guinta. I am proud to say that I grew up in Belleville, where I attended elementary School # 5, and continued my education in town through graduation at BHS. I embrace my alma mater and sincerely say that my heart and soul are devoted to this town and its people.

I have been teaching ESL in Belleville for twenty years after having completed a master’s degree in Urban Education, with a concentration in ESL. I have two certifications: one in ESL and another in Elementary Education.

Currently, I teach ESL students in Kindergarten, first grade and second grade, where the primary instructional objective is second language acquisition, which focuses on the four language domains: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

I instruct my students twice daily: First in a push-in setting, which is in their regular education classroom and a second time in the ESL classroom. Whichever setting I am in, I incorporate the classroom teachers’ lessons by reinforcing and clarifying the literacy skills and strategies that are being presented. Instruction is always on developing phonics skills, expanding vocabulary and learning reading comprehension strategies through direct instruction and guided reading lessons.

First and foremost, though, students need to learn to read. To achieve academic success, this complex set of skills must be mastered. Second, it is also hoped that a love for reading is fostered. However, I need your help.

Please help me achieve these goals by encouraging your child to read every day and/or for you to read to him/her every day. Reading to your child in your native language is also advised.


Melissa Guinta