By Lisa Tetrault-Zhe
Posted Jun. 9, 2016 at 5:03 PM
NORTH HAMPTON — This summer, middle school students will have the opportunity to go south of the border through a Spanish Immersion Camp being offered at North Hampton Library.
The program will be led by Winnacunnet High School Spanish teacher Chiqui Jimenez in collaboration with North Hampton youth librarian Connie Margowsky.
“For many years, I had coordinated summer camps in Colombia and also once during spring in Hamburg in 1998 for kindergarten kids,” Jimenez explained. “I loved this experience so I have been thinking for a while about how I could offer this program here during summer time but I wasn’t sure what to do with it, until I talked to one of the librarians at my school and she gave me some advice.
“Connie (Margowsky) had contacted me to ask if I would be interested in tutoring Spanish during the summer, so I offered her my idea and she was very supportive of it.”
The camp will be held July 11-22 (Monday through Friday) from 9 a.m. to noon. Tuition is $20 but they will offer scholarships to students in need. It’s open to students age 10-14.
“I’m excited; this has never been done before,” said Margowsky. “It was created from the imagination of Chiqui, who wants to bring the cultural experience and language to our community. … I was absolutely delighted to have someone come forward with this type of program.”
In addition to exposure to the language, campers will also try foods, sports, songs, games, dance and stories. The goals of the camp are to build self-confidence in a second language, to enhance understanding of another culture, and to prepare students for advanced Spanish language programs.
Jimenez said she is looking into offering a similar program at Winnacunnet for students entering eighth and ninth grade.
She said she’s eager to expose the campers to Spanish outside of a classroom setting.
“I’m excited about the program in general,” Jimenez said. “It is an ambitious idea that could help the participants to experience another language at a more relaxed pace. Foreign language can be nerve-racking but this program is based in fun activities and games. Full immersion is the key to get more comfortable. Here students will be exposed to the language in a fun way, without the anxiety of being graded or judged.”
The Spanish Summer Camp is just one of several programs being offered at North Hampton Library this summer for children. Others include “Picture It” summer book club for children in grades one to three (Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.) and a proposed summer reading club for teens.
In addition, the library will participate in the Collaborative Summer Reading Program’s “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read.” This will include “Paint and Sip” with local artist Jody Mueller on July 9 at 11 a.m.; musicians Steve Blunt and Marty Kelley on July 21 at 6:30 p.m.; Boston Museum of Science traveling “Animal Invaders” program on July 26 at 7 p.m.; and meet authors Nancy Donovan (magical/fairy tale stories) on June 21 and Yona McDonough (“What Was …” book series) on Aug. 9, both at 6 p.m.
For information or to sign up for any of these programs, contact Margowsky at 964-6326 or visithttps://nhplib.org/