By Jordan Beach
Gladys Galindez’s Spanish 101 course started their semester with a service-learning experience that included playing games with children at Hasty Elementary.
These were not just any games, however; the language students researched traditional Hispanic children’s games, bringing their new-found knowledge to the local elementary school’s children while parents met with teachers for conferences.
The project also showcases the capacity of resources Reinhardt’s faculty hold, as Galindez connected her students with the children.
“Their instructor, Gladys Galindez, is a wonderful addition to the program and was instrumental in enabling a promising connection between Reinhardt and Cherokee County schools.”
The Spanish 101 students also volunteered at Hasty Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 12, playing games with the children as their parents completed a training event. Galindez’s students will help MUST Ministries during November with the Thanksgiving season. All these volunteer opportunities are part of the community outreach portion of curriculum in the course.
This is not the first year Reinhardt’s World Languages and Cultures program infused the University’s High Impact Practices from Reinhardt’s Quality Enhancement Plan into their curriculum. Last year, Dr. Jennifer Summey’s Spanish students volunteered with the Salvation Army during the holiday season to grow their Spanish-speaking skills while helping families with translations.
Summey believes Reinhardt’s World Language students can make an impact in the community at any level.
“One of the objectives of the World Languages and Cultures program is to continually develop the scope of real-world connections between the language skills students learn in class and how they are relevant and useful in the community at large—at any skill level,” said Summey.
The World Languages and Cultures program connects with the community and with other areas of campus, as well. The language students collaborate with Reinhardt’s Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences in the Simulation Laboratory in Jasper at Chattahoochee Technical College, enriching communication and the learning experience. Summey is proud to see what Reinhardt students are capable of, with current students and future ones.
“It’s rewarding to see students grasp that their language abilities, even at a beginning stage, can impact others in a positive way,” Summey said.