Elmont Students Get a Taste of Spain
Administration Offices • 135 Elmont Road • Elmont, NY 11003-1609 •
STUDENTS GET A TASTE OF SPAIN WITHOUT LEAVING TOWN
Charlie Walsh of the New York Institute of Technology’s Culinary Art
Center recently transformed classrooms at Elmont’s Gotham Avenue
Elementary School into a “cocina” — the Spanish word for kitchen —
when he prepared an authentic Spanish-flavored feast for students
participating in the district’s Saturday World Language Academy. One
of Elmont’s enrichment programs, the World Language Academy offers
students the opportunity to learn Spanish, French or Italian during
the weekend. In addition to teaching youngsters a foreign language,
the program also exposes participants to the rich and diverse cultures
of other countries by immersing them in the music, literature and
cuisine of the different nations — and that’s where Chef Charlie steps
in. Donning a crisp white apron, he whipped up a three-course meal of
traditional Spanish favorites. On the menu this time was black bean
soup, chicken paella (a dish consisting of stir-fried vegetables, meat
and rice) and churros (a fried dough pastry) for dessert.
Besides demonstrating his skills in the kitchen, Chef Charlie
explained the history of the various dishes, distributed copies of
recipes and shared some helpful hints for maintaining safety during
food preparation and storage. Saturday Academy Principal Dennis Cowan
lauds the program stating that “through this academy children are
exposed in a positive, enjoyable way to new languages at an early age.
Such an introduction translates into a firm foundation in a second
language when the students begin their secondary education.” A passing
grade on a foreign language exam is a requirement for students to be
awarded the Advanced Regents diploma.
The Saturday World Language Academy begins in October and culminates
with the celebration of National Foreign Language Week — a national
celebration of linguistic diversity held yearly in the beginning of
March. The mission of the Elmont Union Free School District is to
“reach and teach for excellence,” which means continually improving
instruction and increasing student achievement.
Dedication to this goal is what has earned Elmont New York state
recognition for its “High Performing/Gap Closing Schools,” and as a
state “model for school success.” In partnership with the community,
the district holds its students to the highest standards while
maintaining one of the lowest per-pupil expenditures in Nassau County.