June 4th, 2012
Over the past several years, Orono Schools has strived to expand world language curricula and cultural learning opportunities to every student at every level. This year, as part of that overall plan, K-2 students have had an opportunity to explore and learn Spanish.
Now, Orono Schools are seeking to offer this same opportunity to our 3rd-5th graders starting in fall 2012. In order to achieve our goal of expanding the Spanish class offering to all elementary grades by then, we need your help in funding this integral program now. Donating to the World Language fund-a-need is an opportunity to directly impact your child’s language learning during the important elementary and intermediate school years.
According to Marilyn Pedersen (World Languages Chair for Orono High School and member of the World Languages Innovation Team), research shows that there are many benefits to learning a second language, including:
- Better understanding of English syntax and grammar
- Higher standardized test scores
- Greater knowledge of other curricular areas, such as history, geography, politics and religion
- Teaching children to understand and appreciate different cultures
However, to understand the real impact of learning a second language, we don’t need to look any further than our very own K-2 students, who attend Spanish class twice per week in the media center. The Spanish teacher, Angela Stracke, engages her young students by teaching them Spanish songs, having them perform popular children’s books and utilizing technology to enable them to hear and recite the language on an individual level.
Thank you to the parents, teachers and community members who together have donated $60,000 to World Languages so far this spring. In order to complete this fund-a-need, our goal is to raise an additional $40,000 by June 30th, which will allow the school to make necessary teacher hires and curriculum changes to add Spanish to the 3-5 grade classrooms this fall.
If the additional funds are not raised, Spanish will be phased in one grade at a time, starting with 3rd grade, so that current 2nd grade students will have continuity in their instruction. If the total is raised for grades 3-5 this year, then next year the Orono Alliance will focus on raising supportive funds to sustain this language program, as well as adding Spanish to the 6th grade classroom curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year.
Please consider making a donation today by clicking here.
Or to learn more about our World Language initiative, contact Jeanne Cook, Director of Development, at Jeanne@oronoalliance.org.