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The language of success
Every student pic
Dennis Earl third grader Lucas Ramirez was recognized by the Every Student Succeeding program. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

Lucas Ramirez is hard to forget. He has been known to walk the halls of Dennis Earl Elementary with a smile on his face and tackle every obstacle with an unrelenting enthusiasm.

For only being a third grader, he has overcome many obstacles and is a prime example of “Every Student Succeeding.”  For much of his young life Lucas has dealt with language issues, to the point where it interfered with his academics.

“Lucas is a second language learner. Although his education has always been solely in English, he grew up in a bilingual family,” said his 3rd grade teacher, Michelle Cardoso.  “It is this fact that makes writing in English complex and confusing for Lucas. His reading and writing was a challenge because of it also.”

After Cardoso notified Lucas' parents about his issues in academics during a parent teacher conference, Lucas took on the challenge by staying after school to work one on one with Cardoso to improve on his fluency and reading comprehension.

“He worked so diligently for months,” said Cardoso.  “His initiative is very unusual for such a young boy and he continues to work hard to improve.”

Lucas’ hard work slowly paid off and he improved two grade levels in a matter of months.  His fluency rate improved almost 30 percent and his expression and intonation are near perfect.

“Although language has been a bit of an obstacle, Lucas allows nothing to get in his way,” said Cardoso. 

Recently Lucas was honored, along with several other area students, by local politicians and leaders during the “Every Student Succeeding” program held in Modesto. Every Student Succeeding honors students who have overcome and succeeded against challenges, have gone beyond expectations and have won the hearts of their teachers and staff. Challenges can include financial hardships, medical issues, physical limitations and even behavioral issues.

“Being recognized for my hard work is an awesome feeling,” said Lucas.  “Even though I had a hard time I kept trying and I never gave up.”

It is evident that nothing will stand in Lucas' way, no matter how hard the road may get.

“Lucas will not only be an academic success, but one who correctly and fluently speaks, reads, and writes a plethora of languages,” said Cardoso.  “The sky is the limit for him.”