Elementary Spanish Program1919 14th Street, Suite 421, Boulder, CO 80302
Register before May 16th and receive a $50 discount!
¡Gracias! Thank you for your support of the Elementary Spanish Program (ESP). We appreciate the opportunity to share Spanish with your child and to help him/her begin a journey in becoming a multi-lingual world citizen. In order to show our gratitude for your participation in the program, ESP is offering students a discount on 2012/13 tuition if they register this spring. This discount is extended to all registrations and payments that ESP receives before May 15, 2012.
Your child should have received a registration form for next year at their end-of-semester Fiesta. Additional registration forms for ESP classes held at BVSD, Jefferson County, Adams 12 schools, and DPS schools, Lyons Elementary, Hygiene Elementary, and private and charter schools are available in the literature display at your child’s school and online.
Register by choosing any of the following options:
Niwot Elementary School parents should contact Cindy Green at their Community Schools office for registration materials, firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 652-2452.
We look forward to seeing your child next year. Please contact the ESP office with any questions at 303-440-7196. ¡Hasta pronto!
In this issue:
As the winds blow outside and another snow storm is heading into the Colorado foothills, it’s hard to believe that we are coming to the end of another year of Spanish. At the time of this writing, your children’s Spanish teachers are planning the end of the year fiestas, asking your children what they would like to do to celebrate with you. Many classes are already working on skits and activities that they will share with you, even as your children continue to learn and play with new vocabulary, songs, games, and stories.
And today as I reflect on my first year as the Education Director of this nonprofit that will celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall, the words that come to mind are continuity and change. The continuity is reflected in the high number of dedicated teachers and students with whom the Elementary Spanish Program continues to work and grow. The continuity is also reflected in the dedication to the mission that has remained since Spanish was removed from the public school curriculum in the early 1970s in Boulder; ESP was formed by parents and teachers in response to this change.
The change is apparent in the addition and growth of schools over the years in our three counties where we hold classes—from Steele Elementary in Denver to Lyons in St. Vrain and many places in between. More recently, this change is also in the curriculum that ESP has introduced this year, especially in our Reading and Writing program.
Those of you who have been with us a few years have likely noticed that your children in our upper-level programs are coming home with a new chapter book about a little girl named Isabela and her mom's visit to Guanajuato, Mexico. Next year, a second book concerning a boy named Berto and his adventures in Madrid, Spain, will be added to the program. We are excited to continue this approach with beginning chapter books, as research shows that language students are most engaged when they are given interesting stories and situations to hear, interact with, create themselves, and read.
This year, ESP has also made additions to the Auditory program curriculum, including stories that some of your students are acting out in class and bringing home, and the new songs and activities that you may have watched with your child that are now available on our YouTube channel. Of course our teachers also brought and continue bring their own creative ideas and tools to the classroom, learning from one another, from your children and from sharing with one another at our monthly teacher meetings. For those of you who have provided feedback and comments directly to our Spanish teachers or to our office about our teaching, curriculum, and curriculum changes, I want to extend my thanks for your insights and ideas. Your input continues to help us to grow and to serve your children better.
Along with continuity and change, the other word that comes to mind is gratitude. I am truly grateful for the families that I have had the pleasure to speak with and meet over the year, as well as the schools that have worked with us (especially the staff that are present before and after school hours). Your schools’ and families’ commitment to Spanish language exposure helps us to fulfill our ESP mission of preparing children for life in our world community through teaching Spanish. I also truly hope that our program provides your children with the foundation and confidence to continue their studies throughout their secondary years and into adulthood.
Finally, as we head into the summer, remember that our website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel can continue to give your children the opportunity to sing songs, interact with silly activities, and practice new vocabulary during the summer months. While nothing can replace the classroom experience, there are some fun and surprising treats that the whole family can enjoy!
¡Hola a todos! My name is Omar Antonio and I have taught at Lafayette Elementary for the last three years. It is a great joy for me to work for the Elementary Spanish Program, not only as a teacher but also as the Program Administrator in the office. In this past year, I have learned a lot about teaching methodology and have applied it in my class. I have used the Total Physical Response Story-telling method, promoted by ESP, and am confident that this approach has brought joy to the children; it has created a very nice immersion environment in my class, and the students are thinking, feeling, and becoming more creative in Spanish through this method.
I would like to share with you all a bit about my experience as an ESP teacher at Lafayette Elementary. First, I want to express how absolutely wonderful and rewarding it has been to give the gift of a second language to young children. The elementary-school age is the perfect time to start becoming familiar with a new language because children are ready and open to expanding their minds. Their creativity and will to learn is so enriching to be around, and their thirst for participating and sharing their ideas and life is so contagious; it helped me remember the same feelings I had when I learned English at that age! Playing games with them while they learn is fun, as it's one of the only times in my day where the children and I really get to let loose and freely play and laugh (we’ll always remember El Lobo and Las Escondidas). Learning verbs and internalizing the ideas of actions in Spanish is a mutually beneficial activity for both the students and me, as they share their creativity with me when they create mini-stories and describe parts of their life or their dreams via the stories. The more we create together, the better they understand the language and the culture.
Personally, the most rewarding thing for me has been to watch their development over the years. To witness young children develop their language skills as they proceed through the grades, from learning how to identify things to creating whole sentences in Spanish, or taking short phrases or expressions and expanding on those in order to ask questions and take part in full conversations in Spanish, is exciting!
By giving your children the gift of Spanish at this young age, you can be confident that you are preparing them for a cultured and well-rounded life in years to come. Thank you very much to the parents at Lafayette Elementary, the staff at the school, Ms. Colleen, and every single one of the awesome children in class. ¡Muchas gracias a todos!
Learn more about our teachers on our Faculty page.
For fun, interactive Spanish activities for the summer break please visit our website and updated YouTube page:
ESP Song CD, lyrics, & translation are available for a suggested $5 donation.
We were told about the Elementary Spanish Program from a friend whose son was in it last year. He had enjoyed it so much that it was not hard to convince my son to take it this year. We had always wanted our boys to start taking Spanish at a young age, and this was a great option to incorporate it since it is not offered in the elementary school. Jack, who was reluctant to take on any other after school activities, immediately liked going, and I credit this to Omar’s teaching. He has a way of making learning a new language fun. He incorporates games, activities and real life experiences into the lessons so that the kids are fully active and engaged. Jack never came home saying he was bored!
Jack has already said he wants to continue with the Elementary Spanish Program next year, and we plan to start our first grader as well. We plan to have them continue with this until they are able to take Spanish classes in school, at which point they will already have a solid foundation of the language and view learning a new language as a fun experience.
I highly recommend the Elementary Spanish Program to anyone considering adding Spanish as a second language. The program is great!
Jeni Breezely, Parent
Lafayette Elementary School
ESP thanks the following individuals for their generous support:
Classroom Parent Volunteers – all of them!
ESP Computer Maintenance & Repair - Joe Barger
ESP Web site Design & Maintenance - Dean Garyet
ESP Parent Advocates and Board Members
Principals and School Staff
If you know of local groups that might be interested in donating services or directly funding ESP classes, please contact us.
The Elementary Spanish Program is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization. Your donation will be highly appreciated and is tax-deductible!