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Taylorsville Journal

West Lake STEM receives the gift of language

Dec 04, 2022 11:20AM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

Through a partnership between the Utah Jazz and Mark Miller Subaru, West Lake STEM Junior High (3451 W. 6200 South) received a $30,000 donation to bring a top-of-the-line program to the school to help students break the language barrier.

During a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 11, representatives from the Utah Jazz and Mark Miller Subaru organizations talked about their exciting collaboration to help students learn and engage more efficiently. With more than 30 languages spoken at the school, the Renaissance 2200 Language Lab System will revolutionize the way kids learn and interact.

“You get these kids in a classroom with 30 other kids and a teacher in front of the class speaking English and most kids don’t know what’s going on,” said Jeff Miller, general manager and owner of Mark Miller Subaru. “The headsets come down from the ceiling and everyone puts on a headset. Now the students can practice language and practice learning and be more engaged in school. We really want to make our community as strong as we possibly can by opening this language lab.”

Jazz President Jim Olson and the Jazz Bear were on hand to celebrate with the students and hand out swag. Olson said the Utah Jazz and Mark Miller Subaru organizations brainstormed ideas for how they could have a big impact on the community, and discussions led to the idea to help students learn English.

“As Utah continues to become more diverse, it’s important that we embrace that, and not only embrace that but look for opportunities for all these youth coming from different cultures to make sure they have the same opportunity that everyone else has,” Olson said. “It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the school here.”

The Renaissance language system connects students who don’t speak the same language by interpreting and translating information. Teachers can monitor students as they interact, either individually or as groups. The system allows interactive discussions and performance-based assessment.

West Lake Principal Scott Bell is excited to bring the program to the school that will help students learning English as a second language, as well as kids enrolled in the dual immersion program.

“We have numerous kids where this is their first experience with learning English,” Bell said. “This language lab program will enhance their learning, they’ll work with each other better and practice more. That’s going to increase their ability to learn the language.”

Mark Miller Subaru recently received the 2022 Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award, a national recognition for Subaru dealers who demonstrate commitment to local causes in health, education and the environment.

Olson is excited about the Utah Jazz/Mark Miller Subaru collaboration and hopes to create more opportunities to help students in the state.

“We understand how important community is. As the Utah Jazz organization, our priority is to play basketball but an equal priority for us is to be involved in the community and give back to the community,” Olson said. “We’re always looking for opportunities and the right fit. Let’s hope there’s some future schools we can participate with.”



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