Students in the class range from grades six through eight, with most of them having participated in a similar program in elementary school, Martinez said.
The students spend the majority of the class doing homework and projects for other classes.
"A lot of the resources here [in class] they don't have," Martinez said. Not all of her students own a computer or have someone at home who speaks English, Martinez added.
Eighth-grader Jelina Kornak, a first-year student from the Marshal Islands, says she didn't know much English before moving to Laguna.
"I am learning many things. The class helps me in conversations," Jelina said.
Eighth-grader Robert Alonso has spent the majority of his life in Acapulco where little English is spoken.
"I've learned to speak much better. The class helps with my homework too," Robert said.
Students are also benefiting from software called Scholastic Read 180, donated by SchoolPower.
The software program, which Martinez estimates is used in 40% of the classwork, allows students to develop vocabulary skills working individually in a lab.
Teacher's aid, eighth-grader Gerry Artman, is another asset to the class. Artman does not speak Spanish, but is able to break math and science problems down to be understood better.
"If they have a problem I help them understand it," Gerry said.
Most students in Martinez's class also participate in an afternoon program called "Juntos".
Juntos, which means 'together' in Spanish, is a one-on-one mentoring program between Thurston students and high school kids. The program gives the mentored extra help with homework, while giving the mentors community service credits.cpt.12-itc-CPhotoInfo161QR5US20060512iz2r5rncDON LEACH / COASTLINE PILOT(LA)Oliver Melchor, Oscar Cea, Christian Albarran, and Pablo Campos, left to right, construct a human body out of household items during the class project at Thurston.