High School Students Share Love of Language With Elementary Peers
Plainville High School sophomore Katie Willard and junior Lauren Davis, both Linden Street Elementary School alumni, recently combined their love of foreign language and volunteering to create the Linden Street School French Club. Seven fifth grade students at Linden were selected via lottery to take part in the six week program held on Thursday afternoons after school at Linden.
Davis and Willard met over the summer to create a proposal for the club, which they then shared with Linden Principal Suzanne Greenbacker, who fully supported the program idea. From there, the high school students developed lesson plans spanning everything from the basic French alphabet to nouns and verbs. Willard explained, "At first, the program seemed like a long shot. We weren't sure if the kids would be interested in learning another language. But once we got started, they really started to enjoy the lessons and learned a lot." The weekly club format featured interactive French language instruction and culture exploration led by the high school students.
When asked about his experience as a participant in the French Club, fifth grader Brian exclaimed, "Génial!" (French for "awesome"). Due to the high level of interest amongst the fifth graders at Linden to participate in the program, the high school students hope to be able to offer it once again in the spring, and possibly continue offering the program during the next school year. Davis added, "I'm really happy that the program was so successful. It is wonderful that the children were so excited to learn about a new language and a different culture."
"I was so impressed that these high school students were motivated by their love of the language and the fact that extensive foreign language was no longer going to be offered at the middle school; it is now only an introductory course for a short time during a student's stay there. These young ladies are excellent role models for our students and truly instilled a quest for learning in our fifth graders. I look forward to continuing this program and would welcome additional high school students to participate," said Linden Street School Principal, Sue Greenbacker.
-Posted on January 5, 2010 at 04:00 PM
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