Saturday, May 21, 2011
Thank You, San Rafael School
They were the bright, charming 5-year-olds of Pasadena's San Rafael School. These kids are part of a dual language immersion program, where English-speaking and Spanish-speaking kids go to school together. Most of their classes are taught in Spanish at the start, and gradually English is introduced. By the time they graduate all the children will be bilingual. They've been learning about different careers and they wanted to know about acting.
My Spanish is abysmal, and after a brief demonstration to that effect the kids were willing to hear me in English. They had wonderful questions about stunts, make-up, plays and movies and they told me stories about their own acting experiences. I was in my first play when I was about their age, so we had a lot in common.
I studied French when I was growing up and would have loved a language immersion education. Pasadena has a dual language immersion program in Mandarin Chinese, too. It's a fantastic opportunity for the kids.
Three of my English-speaking neighbor children go to San Rafael. Two of them were in yesterday's class. It's their first year in school and already they speak Spanish well enough to translate, negotiate deals (truly) and know abysmal Spanish when they hear it. These girls were responsible for inviting me. Seeing their smiling faces in the group was my favorite part.
Update: You can contribute to the San Rafael School here.