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International Program Goes to Huntingdon Elementary Schools

(Posted October 29, 2001)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Elementary school students and their parents will enjoy French cuisine, sing Spanish songs and learn Japanese origami with Juniata College students, faculty and staff at four Huntingdon-area elementary schools as part of the program "Around the World in Ninety Minutes," which is organized by the Huntingdon Area School District.

The program, created as part of International Education Week (Nov. 12-16), will be held simultaneously from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at Southside Elementary School and Brady-Henderson Elementary School. The same program will be held simultaneously from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Jackson Miller Elementary School and Standing Stone Elementary School.

"Our international students and U.S. students who have lived and studied abroad can share their experiences with other cultures, languages and countries," says Elizabeth Smolcic, director of the Intensive English Program at Juniata. "We see this program as a chance to get young people exposed to language and cultural learning in a hands-on or fun way."

The program is organized by the World Languages Committee, a parents group from the Huntingdon Area School District interested in starting a second language program in Huntingdon's primary and middle schools.

Jeff Coppes, director of elementary education at the school district, and Parent Teacher Groups from each school collaborated with Juniata College's Center for International Education to put together the educational program. "The program will have a series of stations the children and parents can visit to do activities," explains Kati Csoman, international student adviser at Juniata. "Everyone can try activities at their own pace or spend the whole time at one station if they want to."

The "Around the World in Ninety Minutes" program activities include:

--The Passport Station. Juniata's Club International will prepare passports for the students. Students can draw their own picture in the document and get a stamp for each station they visit. "Some of the international students will bring their own passports so the kids can see and try to read an international language," Csoman says.

--French Cooking. The college's French Club will cook crepes with various fruit fillings.

--Origami. The Japanese Club will instruct visitors in origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Students also will receive a sample piece of origami paper with instructions printed on the back.

--Spanish Sing-Along. Juniata's Spanish Club will conduct a sing-along of Spanish songs.

--Dancing. Visitors can learn the steps to international dances with help from the Juniata club United Cultures of Juniata College.

--Geography Games. Children and parents can test their skill by playing map games and completing geography puzzles -- with help from the Juniata College Model U.N. club.

--International Stories. International students will read children's stories in their native language and then provide a translation into English.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.