Beth Sussman, a teaching artist with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, calls it “covert learning.”

That’s because this summer enrichment program for English language learners in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District makes lessons fun by blending critical literacy skills with the arts.

“They’re having a great time,” Sussman said. “They don’t even realize they’re learning all this stuff.”

Saddleback Valley teachers collaborated with arts educators from the Segerstrom Center’s Arts Teach Program to create the five-week summer session, which features engaging learning opportunities for approximately 300 students in grades one through eight. The goal is to expand English proficiency by connecting listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to various art forms.

“We did some composing, we used sound, digital recordings,” says fellow teaching artist John Zeretzke. “They had writing projects that were enhanced with visual art ideas. We’re connecting arts to science, to reading, to math, to all different areas. The kids are really having these deep experiences.”

Find out more by watching the video above, produced by OCDE’s Media Services team.