Saying ¡Hola! To A New Districtwide Elementary Program

Language and Culture at the Elementary Schools
  • Sunrise Drive may have been the first Sayville elementary school in the District to participate in the weekly language arts program being introduced this year, but don’t worry, parents. Each of the three elementary schools will be experiencing one trimester of this new offering to learn Spanish. While the program offering is currently for Third grade students, Fourth and Fifth grade students are able to participate in the Before-School Enrichment Club.


    “The World Languages Department is excited to partner with the elementary schools this year,” announced Stephanie Bricker, the Department chairperson, “in offering–L.A.C.E.S. (Language and Culture at the Elementary Schools). Señora Kristin Chirichella, a member of the World Languages Department at the high school, is the instructor for this fun and innovative program.”


    Learning the Spanish language along with the traditions and practices from Spanish-speaking countries was the goal of this program.  “We started each class off with a daily ‘Today Song’ that incorporated the day, date, weather, and positive affirmations!” Señora Chirichella was happy to report, “The students enjoyed the singing and dancing and the cultural crafts that included making Spanish-speaking country flags, a mask for el Día de los Muertos, and their very own Guatemalan worry doll. In addition they had great fun using microphones to ‘interview’ each other on each new topic, while our class mascot ‘Nacho,’ a singing, dancing Mexican Chihuahua toy, proved a favorite for holding practice conversations. The students especially looked forward to the body and mind movement exercise “Máximo” as they learned the Spanish equivalent for identifying their heads, eyes, ears, hands, arms, elbows, knees, and toes.”


    The trimester flew by.  Parents and teachers alike have told Señora how much they absolutely loved the program:


    “My son William—Guillermo—is in the LACES program,” Mrs. Mitchell enthused, “and I just wanted to tell you how much he enjoys it! He can't wait to share all the new information that he learns each week with us!”


    “My daughter has really enjoyed the program and eagerly shares her weekly new learning with us!” Mrs. McGinnis agreed while Mrs. Robayo added, “Alec said you all had a blast! You’re the best!”    


    “Thank you so much for a wonderful experience!” Mr. Frank shared.  “The kids really loved starting off their Mondays with you and learning all about español. I know they will miss it.”


    Señora Chirichella said, “It was a wonderful experience having the children come in not knowing much Spanish and at the end of the program have them speaking it all the time. I enjoyed hearing them tell me each week how they used their Spanish and how they shared it with their families. It was amazing to see them be able to communicate with each other on so many topics. I believe that which students learn in a fun, exciting way, they won’t soon forget! This has truly been my pleasure to teach!”


    Now that the students at Sunrise have successfully completed their trimester, the verdict is in— “¡Lo pasaron de maravilla!”  

    And ¡Hola! to the Cherry and Lincoln Avenue elementary students!fiesta!