In February I went on a local “vacation” at Holt Elementary Language Academy here in Durham. The kids at Holt get to learn either Spanish or Chinese, and they also study all different parts of the world. The languages were really hard but I started to get used to saying “Nǐ hǎo” and “hola” (hello in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.)
In Kindergarten, I learned about Quebec in Canada and wrote the year in Chinese characters. In Chinese class with Ms. Ya Lee, we played a bean bag game while learning our colors and practiced introducing ourselves in Chinese. I also got to sing and dance with the students to the Chinese song 恭喜恭喜 “gōng xǐ gōng xǐ”, or Congratulations! in English.
The first graders at Holt learn all about South and Central America. So I got to help the students work on a report about “Isla El Tigre” (Tiger Island) volcano in Honduras. In Spanish class with Ms. Galindo, the first graders showed me how to read and write words in Spanish.
Second graders at Holt learn all about Asia so we worked on a project about the Yellow Birdwing butterfly, which lives in southern Asia. I loved when the second graders read their favorite books to me (after all, I am a library moose!) I also had lots of fun in art class with Ms. Govender. We worked on an Indian Woman project called “Holi Umas”. Holi is a festival in India where people throw colored powder at each other and celebrate renewal. Sounds like fun!
I loved my visit to Holt and hope to go back one day to find out what the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are learning!