Sixteen Ripon youth from kindergarten through fifth grade spent the last two weeks of their summer vacation being immersed in Spanish.
The Spanish Language Summer Institute concluded Friday at Ripon Elementary School. Four staff members directed the program had students exploring the academic components of technology, engineering, arts and math while learning and using Spanish as they interact with their teachers.
The institute met from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at a cost of $360 per student. It focused on teaching oral vocabulary skills.
Ripon Unified School District Superintendent Ziggy Robeson said she hopes the immersion program will evolve into a more permanent part of the educational offerings in the Ripon community.
Staff members were director Lisa Cheney, program manager, Paty Mendoza, classroom teacher Mayra Gomez and bi-lingual aide Lena Ureste.
The language and learning objectives will include being able to orally introduce themselves and to greet others in Spanish; to read and identify the letters of the alphabet as well as basic words; to be able to count to 20 in Spanish; to pronounce and identify Spanish vocabulary words related to the STEAM acronym of the educational elements; to construct models and test the functionality of the model; to think critically to solve math problems that relate to daily life; to persevere through rigorous math problems and to use technology to nourish their learning.
The students had two field trips each week. On Tuesdays they traveled to the public library downtown for 2 to 3 p.m. for research and a Spanish story time. The Ripon High School swimming pool was their other out of the classroom adventure for an hour at 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.
Snacks were provided for the students in their morning and afternoon breaks with a brown bag lunch available through the school’s food services department.
The daily schedule for the students included Spanish language and vocabulary development from 8 to 9 a.m.; a science and engineering project for the following 30 minutes; at 9:20 a snack break; physical activity from 9:40 to 10:40; an age appropriate science experiment following for an hour and 20 minute period; lunch from noon to 12:40; math games from 12:40 to 2 p.m.; scheduled field trips for an hour; a scheduled break from 3 to 3:20, and art projects from 3:20 to 4 p.m. when they were scheduled to pack up and go home.
A list of 10 educational websites were made available for students to use as study aids from their homes in better developing their language skills through the use of games. Those games include the use of science, a math playground and engineering among others.