“For the kingdom is the LORD’S And He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:28

God has blessed us with life in a diverse and rapidly globalizing world. At CLCS we believe it is important to introduce our students to the richness of God’s creativity, as well as to enable them to share His love upon whatever path God leads them. Miss Tonika Jones keeps these things in mind as she introduces the Spanish language to students in PreK – Grade 8. All students at CLCS participate in the Spanish language program and come away from their time with Miss Jones with a solid and practical knowledge of the language.

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” ~Flora Lewis
CLCS Spanish class

Dressed up for Global Day in front of the map of Spanish speaking countries!

CLCS Spanish class making pinatas 2016

Making Pinatas during Spanish class!

CLCS Spanish class writing letters

Working together to write Pen-pal letters to friends in Honduras.

CLCS Spanish class dressed up for Global Day

Miss Jones & Mrs. Becker dressed up for Global Day!

PreK -Grade 2 learn Spanish through oral instruction; using songs, games, dance, art and other techniques to help identify, memorize and utilize varied vocabulary.
Grades 3 & 4 learn the Spanish language through oral instruction; using songs, games, dances, art and other techniques to help identify, memorize and utilize varied vocabulary. Students in Grades 3 & 4 use their knowledge of English phonics to help them pronounce and memorize Spanish phrases, as well as to spell Spanish words phonetically. There is also an emphasis on aspects of Spanish culture, such as the celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Starting in Grade 5, the Spanish alphabet is officially introduced and the transition from hearing and speaking, to reading and writing begins. Students in Grades 5 – 8 expand their knowledge of Spanish vocabulary and learn about proper grammar in the Spanish language.

They have many opportunities to put these new skills and concepts to use in practical ways. CLCS Spanish students participate in a Pen Pal program with a “sister school” in Honduras through the Cornell non-profit, Mayor Potencial. Our students write to and receive letters from their friends at Ramon Rosa Elementary School, in El Rodeito, Honduras, at least twice a year. Towards the end of the Spring semester, students in Grades 7 & 8 take a field trip to Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant in Cortland, and are required to order and speak in Spanish while enjoying their meal. Occasionally, the students are even able to video chat with friends in Spanish speaking countries.

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Pen Pal Program with students in Honduras

In January 2016, CLCS students sent pen pal letters for the first time to school children at Ramon Rosa Elementary School in El Rodeito, Honduras, through an organization called Mayor Potencial. Mayor Potencial is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization using social entrepreneurship to improve access to education in rural Latin America, among other things. We began collaborating with their efforts in the Fall of 2015, by sending school supplies to Ramon Rosa, an elementary school similar in size to our own school. Looking for more ways to connect with the students at Ramon Rosa, we asked Nancy Bell, the director of Mayor Potencial, if we could write letters to the students there. We were thrilled to discover that Mrs. Bell was looking for schools to take part in their Pen Pal Program. We jumped at the chance, and have been exchanging letters ever since.

Each year we look forward to writing in Spanish, to our friends in Honduras, with help from Miss Jones during Spanish class, and then receiving the replies back. After letters were exchanged over Christmas break 2016, we received some beautiful artwork made by our friends, and plan to respond in kind with our next batch of letters.

Nancy Bell, of Mayor Potencial, and her team of Cornell students, have visited CLCS several times. They share stories, pictures and videos of the students at Ramon Rosa. We are thrilled to be working with this team of people, and to be nurturing friendships between the students of these two schools! Thank you Mayor Potencial for helping us make new friends in Honduras!

Spanish language program, Nancy Bell of Mayor Potencial visits students at CLCS