Spanish Immersion families globe-trot at cultural fair

Families were transported around the world May 15 when they stopped by Woodcrest Elementary Spanish Immersion School’s annual cultural fair.

Families wait to buy empanadas from a food truck outside of Woodcrest Elementary Spanish Immersion School May 15, part of the school’s cultural fair. Photos by Olivia Koester

Families wait to buy empanadas from a food truck outside of Woodcrest Elementary Spanish Immersion School May 15, part of the school’s cultural fair. Photos by Olivia Koester

Each classroom took a different approach, but all students studied faraway places over the last few months, learning about unique customs and ways of life around the globe. At the cultural fair, students presented all they’ve learned for their families – en español, of course.

Second-graders in Daniela Perez’s classroom studied South American countries for two months. Each student studied a particular country, writing the embassy for information, decorating the country’s flag and more.

Perez hopes the lessons taught students “to appreciate what they have and what other countries don’t,” she said.

Jaden Damiano studied Uruguay. Unlike Minnesota, “it’s really hot there,” he said. He showed his mom and younger brother something he wrote up about the capybara, the world’s largest rodent, which is found in Uruguay and other South American countries. Jaden thinks it looks like a beaver.

Kim Musto’s fourth-grade class focused on countries along the Andes Mountain Range. Musto chose that region because she has spent time there and has artifacts and personal knowledge to share with the kids.

Each student in Musto’s class wrote a research paper and developed a Keynote presentation on their iPad.

In between classroom visits, families enjoyed musical performances from the various grade levels in the gymnasium. Students sang songs from Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico and Spain.

Outside, a food truck sold empanadas, Mexican soda and more so families could grab dinner together.

“It’s always kind of the highlight of the year for the school,” Spanish Immersion Coordinator Richie Kucinski said of the cultural fair.

“It builds community,” Musto said. “That is the beauty of it.”

Olivia Koester is at olivia.koester@ecm-inc.com

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