OAKHURST – Area children are being offered the opportunity to learn a new language at The Children’s Museum of the Sierra.
The museum began providing a Spanish immersion program on Sept. 11, with two classes each week, offering homeschool students a valuable addition to their education and their lives.“As we become more informed of the many benefits of being bilingual, we want our children to have access to learning a second language,” says Rosa Ruiz, who teaches the classes. “Current students are not only learning a second language, but are also improving their cognitive skills.”
Mrs. Ruiz, M.A., earned her Master’s in Education and her bilingual teaching credential at the University of California, Davis.
Maestra Ruiz says she is eager to share her love for the Spanish language, and is committed to challenging each student by providing meaningful and creative lessons.
“My kids love Spanish class,” says homeschool parent Mareka Lodge. “They are having so much fun singing songs and playing games they don’t even realize how much they are learning!”
Ruiz cites a recent article in The New York Times Magazine, titled “Why Are Bilinguals Smarter?”
“Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter,” states the article. “It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.”
Two classes are being offered each week. The first class is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon. Students’ grade levels vary from kindergarten to sixth grade. Their Spanish levels also vary, however most are still at the beginning level of their Spanish acquisition.
The second class is a preschool Spanish class on Thursdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. This class includes children ages four years and under. Both classes are taught in Spanish-only, using California Common Core Standards through an immersion model.
For more information, call the Children’s Museum of the Sierra at 658-5656.