Elementary students across Valencia County have the chance to take free Spanish language lessons during an after school program with Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque.
Silvia Grijalba, executive director for the Albuquerque institution, said the language classes are typically offered at different Albuquerque Public Schools, but she and her staff felt it was time to go farther out into nearby communities.
“We want to provide Spanish language (lessons) and show Latin American cultures from all over the world, especially in places where children might not have a way to go to cultural activities and classes,” Grijalba said.
The language program will be held once a week for two hours, and is completely free.
“We are able to do this thanks to the Rio Grande Educational Collaborative,” she said. “The lessons will all be in person, after school.”
The free courses for children ages 5 to 10 will run through May 2022 and hopes to reach 600 children.
To let your child participate in the program, parents should call the individual school.
The free language lessons will be offered at the following elementary schools:
- Central Elementary School, 505-966-1200
- Gil Sanchez Elementary School, 505-966-1900
- H.T. Jaramillo Community School, 505-966-2000
- School of Dreams Academy, 505-866-7632
The Valencia County initiative is in addition to others already in place at Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque for the dissemination of Spanish among the youngest students, such as the summer camp for children between 5 and 12 years old, held from July 6 to July 29. Summer camp enrollment began on April 1.
In these programs, students learn and practice Spanish through a variety of activities such as songs, stories, games, crafts, dance, theater and art through interactive video classes.
Instituto Cervantes is an institution that was founded by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote the teaching, use and study of the Spanish language, and to contribute to the advancement of Spanish, Hispanic and Latin American cultures throughout the world. Instituto Cervantes has more than 90 centers around the world, including one in Albuquerque.
The free language classes are possible due to an agreement with the Rio Grande Educational Collaborative, the biggest after school services provider in the state according to its website.
For more information about Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque and its programs, visit albuquerque.cervantes.es.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.