Stuttgart students soak up Hispanic history and language
STUTTGART, Germany — The Spanish is starting to sink in.
“Azul is blue, roja is red, green is verde and white is blanco,” Sarah Lukins said. “That’s all I can remember right now.”
It’s a start. For Sarah and the other second-graders at Robinson Elementary/Middle School, Spanish has become a way of life, at least for this month — Hispanic Heritage Month.
Their teacher, Sonya Ladner, said her 7- and 8-year-olds are soaking up the lessons.
Every morning the children greet their teacher, “Buenos dias, Señora Ladner.” They talk in Spanish as best they can. And they learn about famous Hispanic people such as labor leader Cesar Chavez, singer Gloria Estefan and baseball player Roberto Clemente.
On Sept. 29, the school is going to celebrate the month with a big fiesta.
“I want them to have a better understanding of the Hispanic culture and Hispanic heritage,” Ladner said. “And to understand that is what diversity is, and that everyone is special. That is my goal.”
Friday’s activities didn’t come off without a hitch.
About 240 pupils gathered in the school cafeteria to watch a performance by Grammy-nominated Tejano singer Elida Reyna. But she and her entourage, which was traveling from Schweinfurt and stuck in traffic, arrived two hours late, after school was dismissed.
After a performance Friday night at Patch Barracks, Reyna was scheduled to perform in Garmisch on Saturday, Vilseck on Monday and Hohenfels on Tuesday. Since there was no concert, the kids left the cafeteria and returned to their classrooms.
Ladner’s pupils opened up their Hispanic Heritage Month coloring books and started coloring. Three of the 19 children in the class are Hispanic, Ladner said.
Audrey Heacock isn’t one of them. But she’s learning.
“Uno, dos, tres, cuatro …” Audrey announces when asked what she learned. “And I know my days of the week! Lunes is Monday …”