April 3, 2004 — The sound of Hispanic music filled the Tutu Park Mall's center court Saturday as the Department of Education's Curriculum Division launched its first-ever Foreign Languages Program Exposition.
The event was held in memory of Nereida Fuentes de Ramos, a former Charlotte Amalie High School Spanish teacher who passed away on Jan. 1.
A poster with pictures of Ramos took center stage in the display area along with a television showing video clips of the teacher and her students.
Replicas of famous artwork, piñatas and posters portraying the theme "Spring Brings Hope, So Does Understanding Through Foreign Languages" were on display by elementary and secondary school students. Students also danced the Bamba and other authentic Spanish dances and recited Spanish poems.
"I'm impressed with the event here in the mall and the other foreign language week activities, which were dedicated to Nereida Ramos, a woman who impacted our lives positively," said Silvia Campbell, a judge for the competition segment of the exposition and a former foreign language coordinator.
In the elementary school portion of the "Copy the Masters" competition, students made replicas of French or Spanish artwork. The winner in the elementary school category was Kadeem Nelson of Edith Williams School, while Nichole Mitchell of Eudora Kean High School won first place in the secondary school competition.
For the piñatas category, Latisha Moorehead of Jarvis Elementary School and Chandis Bastian of Eudora Kean High placed first.
Jouzzle France of Joseph Gomez Elementary School and Yurimay Calixte of Eudora Kean High won the theme posters competition. Students were judged on the basis of creativity and originality.
Schools participating in the elementary division of the event were: E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School, J. Antonio Jarvis School, Edith Williams School, Joseph Sibilly Elementary School, Moravian School and Peace Corps. Secondary schools competing were: Addelita Cancryn and Bertha C. Boschulte Junior High Schools, Charlotte Amalie and Ivanna Eudora Kean High Schools, and Moravian School.
Judges for the event included: Bilingual Education Program Coordinator Migdalia Arthurton; Language Arts Coordinator Mary Harley; April Munroe Phillips, elementary coordinator; Christian Richardson, retired Spanish and French teacher; Social Studies Coordinator Annie Smith; V.I. Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt; and Campbell.
"I think we need to have more activities like this in the public light so they can see what our children are doing," Smith said. "It shows that they are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for."
Foreign Language Coordinator Myrna van Beverhoudt said she hopes the event can become an annual one. "I'm hoping the public becomes more knowledgeable of what we're doing in the schools," van Beverhoudt said.
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