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The Prowler

Students bond through bilingual storytelling

Spanish Honor Society students read bilingual books to children ages four through eight. Bilingual Storytime is an activity started by Spanish teacher Madeline Rodriguez that strives to expose young children to a new language and create a positive environment through learning.

Submitted by Madeline Rodriguez

Spanish Honor Society students read bilingual books to children ages four through eight. Bilingual Storytime is an activity started by Spanish teacher Madeline Rodriguez that strives to expose young children to a new language and create a positive environment through learning.

Liza Eubanks, Staff Writer

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Once a month, students from the Starr’s Mill’s Spanish Honor Society go to the Peachtree City Library to participate in Bilingual Storytime. Spanish III and AP Spanish teacher Madeline Rodriguez started this activity last September.

During Bilingual Storytime, high school students participate in a variety of activities with children from ages four through eight, such as reading books in Spanish, making crafts, enjoying food, and watching shows or movies in Spanish.

“Language is the future of the next generation,” Rodriguez said. Bilingual Storytime positively impacts everyone involved. The young children get exposure to hearing the language being used, and the students in the Spanish Honor Society get the opportunity to speak outside of the classroom and connect with adults who can speak fluently.

A student who can fluently speak multiple languages will have a higher chance of being accepted into colleges, getting a job, and finding greater opportunities. Bilingual Storytime is a way to expose students of all ages to the Spanish language. Rodriguez is primarily interested in creating a spark of interest in the young children, because the more they enjoy learning, the more they will understand the information that is taught to them.

[Americans] cannot continue being the monolinguals of the world.”

— Spanish teacher Madeline Rodriguez

“[Americans] cannot continue being the monolinguals of the world. That is unacceptable,” Rodriguez said. Although the Mill is a diverse community, it is uncommon to hear students casually speaking in a language other than English. This is largely due to the fact that in our country, language tends to be lost through the generations in families.

Almost every Starr’s Mill student has roots in another, or several, countries. Yet most of those students only speak English fluently. Perhaps the students’ parents strictly spoke English so their children could succeed in school, or maybe the student neglected to learn their family’s language. Either way, a problem has been created. However, this mindset is changing. People are realizing how important understanding more than one language is in today’s world.

Rodriguez is considering expanding Bilingual Storytime to other languages, such as German, and allowing students from other foreign language classes to teach the next generation the importance of understanding languages.

Anyone who is interested in gaining exposure to the language is welcome, including parents. The next storytime will be in March at the Peachtree City Library. Interested participants can check the Peachtree City Library website for an announcement regarding the exact date and time.

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Students bond through bilingual storytelling