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THINC students are speaking Spanish

Students in Dr. Sue Forrest’s Spanish class at THINC College & Career Academy (THINC) took project-based learning to an elementary level when they visited the students at Ethel W. Kight Elementary School last week. Last school year they were challenged to write a book in English and then translate it to Spanish.

Now, they have been able to get young learners involved. As they entered the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classroom, they were excited about reading their personal stories to the students.

“Dr. Forrest approached me about allowing her students to read and practice their Spanish with the elementary students,” Wendy Aldridge, ESOL teacher at Ethel W. Kight said. “I thought it was a great idea. Now we see that it’s exciting for the two different age groups to come together and share with each other.”

One student, Haley Rippy, a sophomore at LaGrange High and THINC, enthralled them with a book about volleyball.

“This is a newer sport for me,” Rippy said. “It gave me an incentive to write about something I enjoy. It’s a team sport so it was good to read the book with the students and work together as a team to read it all the way through.”

Forrest knows her high school Spanish students were challenged by the assignment and provided relevant learning for them.

“The opportunities that these students have to show mastery of writing and reading in Spanish is unbelievable,” Forrest said. “They are writing their own books in their own words. After translating their work, they were able to read it to students whose primary language is Spanish, and the students totally understood. It was amazing.”

In addition to writing and reading the books, the stories will be on display at the LaGrange Memorial Library throughout the Christmas holiday. During the THINC Spring semester, they will be donated to local families where the parents have limited English so both the parents and children can practice the languages together.

Located in LaGrange, Georgia, THINC College & Career Academy is a charter school designed for high school-aged students within Troup County. Combining critical thinking and business, THINC Academy creates an authentic workplace curriculum that extends learning beyond the traditional classroom. THINC students are highly desirable to businesses and colleges not only because they are equipped with technical and career-specific skills, but because they understand the soft skills of business — a firm handshake, a strong work ethic and critical thinking skills. Led by academic and corporate professionals and funded by local corporations, THINC officially opened its doors for learning in August 2015. For more information, visit www.thincacademy.net.