LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Nearly a dozen education and political leaders from across the world gathered at a Louisville school on Thursday for a first-hand look at how immigrant children are being invited into American culture.

It happened at ESL Newcomer Academy at the intersection of W. Market Street and S. 41st Street.

Representatives from at least 10 different countries visited the school today. They traveled from countries like Malaysia, Austria, Bosnia and Turkey. Their goal was to see how Louisville and JCPS continue to serve the growing population of non-English speaking students.

Students from about three dozen countries are represented at Newcomer. Some children come to America with barely any prior education. Instructors work with the students to teach them how to speak, read and write in English. They also provide social and emotional support, as well as teach grade-level content.

On Thursday, the school's principal showed the representatives various classrooms, introduced them to students and talked about challenges or concerns they may have.

"Kids are, in some cases, can be really harsh to each other," said Lana Prlic, Vice President of the Social Democratic Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina. "I think that this crew here of teachers and staff are doing a good job and I hope these kids will be integrated as soon as possible and can begin their American dream." 

The leaders will also visit English Second Language schools in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Diego.

Newcomer currently serves more than 500 ESL kids.

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