Marathon Helps Infuse Spanish Into Every C&C Corner

    > Marathon Helps Infuse Spanish Into Every C&C Corner

Years ago, then-principal Kate Turley posed a question: How might we ensure Spanish reaches every corner of the school? C&C’s Spanish teacher, Marianela Fernandez, was charged with discovering pathways to allow such an infusion.

“I thought it would be interesting to use the mentoring programs already established in the school to get the older children to teach some songs and vocabulary to the youngest,” said Marianela. “While doing that, I noticed that one of the activities lower school students enjoyed the most was being read to. At the same time, I was thinking of ways to give more visibility to the Spanish-speaking community.”

The Spanish Reading Marathon was born. Students, staff, parents, caregivers, grandparents, siblings, and alums volunteer to read to the IVs, Vs, VIs, and VIIs throughout the week. This year, 29 readers read 34 books to the children.

The program: 

  • Helps native speaker students to reassure themselves in their cultural background and take pride in their bilingualism
  • Creates close ties between those members of the community who share some cultural background
  • Motivates students and adults alike to keep growing in their learning a second language experience
  • Inspires all members of the community to get involved
  • Validates the language, offering a genuine and active place in the community

“It fills me with joy to answer the children’s questions, translate the words, and help them understand the Spanish language,” said Ernesto Cristostomo, C&C’s Building and Grounds Foreperson and Technician. “It brings me back to my own time with my children. I’m a father of four and was very actively involved in their studies as they grew.”

Reading to children is a multigenerational tradition. Rafael’s son, Ernesto’s daughter, and Marianela’s daughter participated in the event this year.

“I cannot stress enough the positive impact this activity has on our children, bilingual or not,” said Marianela. “Languages are firm bridges that connect us with new landscapes, cultures, and perspectives.”