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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Some students at East Farms start their day studying Spanish

Treva Lind Correspondent

Instructor Andrea Hayes tosses out a teddy bear as a child says the toy’s Spanish word. Hayes hands flowers to another student who calls them out in Spanish. During a Spanish immersion class, 14 East Farms Elementary students are learning the language two mornings a week at school before regular classes as part of an eight-week paid course.

Members of the school’s parent-teacher group arranged for the private business, Perciba Inc., to offer Spanish beginning in March. Families paid $75 per student for the 16 sessions that use language immersion and association with everyday objects.

Perciba also teaches Russian, French and Japanese to children and has offered courses at such schools as Moran Prairie and Cataldo.

“I had wanted my kids to learn a foreign language and that’s how it started,” said parent Deanna Dusenberry, who helped organize the course. “It’s nice to see the young minds soaking up this language.”

The students in grades one through five go over the lessons with Hayes for 40 minutes a session. This week, she was helping students learn Spanish words and sentences for places they commonly visit, such as a park or a museum.

“It’s basically learning a different language like we originally learned English,” she said before the class. “We learned through listening first, recognizing the sound and then you learn how to produce the sound.”

As the children sat in a semi-circle, Hayes talked in both English and Spanish while asking about the new words. Going over handouts she gave to the children, Hayes pronounced el museo for museum and asked about other places.

“El museo, do we have any of these in Spokane?” she said to the children. “La oficina, what do people do there? It’s a place where you work, muy bien.”

The group also went over colors in Spanish, adding them to sentences to describe objects the children held in their hands. “I’m going to say the words twice, listen closely, then you repeat,” added Hayes. “Good job on all those words.”

Student Kayla Peterson said after the class that the sessions help her. “The thing I like is we don’t do a lot of paperwork, we just learn with the objects. It’s fun.”

Another student, Brandon Rankin, said he is learning more than he thought about the language. “I really like it. I’m learning a lot more.”

Freeman students make pillows for troops

Some Freeman High School students are making half-sized pillows for troops in Iraq.

The students also are collecting items for care packages, or some of the youth are paying a small amount to sponsor the cost of postage. Teacher Lesley Parker said several students are writing encouragement letters to mail to military members.

Parker is the adviser for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America association. She found out from a former Freeman staff member who has a son in Iraq about the need for small pillows.

“We do a lot of community projects,” she said. “These troops don’t have any pillows. About six weeks ago we started making pillows. We just make them in class.”

They hope to sew at least 100 pillows out of military material, Parker said, and many students have chosen to sponsor the $3.50 cost to make them. The group then posts a paper replica of a pillow with the sponsor’s name on a wall.

Parker said the school group has a list of items needed by military in Iraq, and many students have brought in care package items such as hard candy or small bottles of lotion. People who are interested in sponsoring the cost of the pillows or care package postage can contact Parker through the school at 291-3721, ext. 209.

EV registering young students

The East Valley School District has opened its preschool and kindergarten registration. For kindergarten, parents need to show a certified birth certificate and proof of immunizations record. The Early Childhood Education Assistance Program preschool and I-728 preschool registration is also ongoing with applications available at individual schools.

A new program, Title I Preschool, serves students only within the boundaries of Trent and Trentwood elementary schools. For more information on the Title 1 Preschool, contact Barbara Cruse at 924-1830.

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