This spring, Hamilton’s Hispanic Studies Department continued a program in which students teach Spanish at Clinton Elementary School. The program, founded by Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Edna Rodriguez-Plate in the fall of 2012, provides an opportunity for Hamilton students to interact with younger children while exposing the children to the Spanish language and culture and getting them ready for the district’s foreign language program, which doesn’t begin until middle school.
Hamilton students attended a training workshop at the beginning of the semester to learn about teaching techniques for children in grades K-5 and to share ideas on fun ways to present the material. After the initial workshop, small groups of Hamilton students worked independently at the elementary school during lunch or recess.
The groups were responsible for developing weekly lesson plans in conjunction with each week’s theme. Lesson plans typically involved games, drawing and creative activities to help keep the children engaged with the material. Popular games included Spanish versions of “Simon Says” and “I Spy.”
In addition, Visiting Instructor of Hispanic Studies Maria Gabriela Portal introduced an exchange program with two elementary schools in her home province of Jujuy, Argentina. The Clinton students wrote letters to students in Jujuy, who will in turn send letters back.
Portal and Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies Paul Norberg served as program coordinators, aided by students Lindsay Heyer ’17, Eddie Brennan ’19, and Elizabeth Maier ’19.
Other Hamilton volunteers included Jeremy Acosta ’17, Sabrina Boutselis ’19, Erica Chen ’19, Emily De Jong ’19, Daniela Gonzalez ’19, Emily Han ’19, Jessie Kravet ’19, Emma Weller ’19, Cam Baker ’20, Seraphina Buckholtz ’20, Elie Doubleday ’20, Mercedes Girona ’20, Laura Korkeakivi ’20, Amarilys Milian ’20, Missy Mouritsen ’20, Laura Rodriguez ’20, Shadae Tingman ’20 and Anna Zhang ’20.