Area youths interested in learning how to speak Spanish will get an opportunity through a week-long summer camp in Columbus.
The Spanish Learning Center plans to hold the camp at the Bartholomew County Public Library June 19 to 23, said Julia Lopez, an advisory committee member who does marketing for the center.
The camp, for children ages 4 to 11, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
Now in its third year, the camp has primarily drawn participants who have previously participated in Spanish-speaking lessons at Foundation for Youth on Saturdays during the school year, Lopez said.
However, individuals who have never spoken Spanish are also welcome to attend the summer camp. Students who are new to Spanish may learn colors and days of the week, while children who are more proficient can expect to focus on grammar and sentences during the camp, Lopez said.
Since Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, Lopez said the camp can be beneficial for individuals who already know some of the language — helping them practice what they have already learned, she said.
Sylvia Babcock, executive director of Su Casa Columbus, said the opportunity for students to learn Spanish will help down the road.
“There’s so many doors that can be opened for students that are bilingual, which is a benefit for the community,” Babcock said.
As people recognize that, the number of individuals interested in learning Spanish has also grown, Lopez said.
“To be bilingual in a global economy is an advantage obviously,” she said.
The summer camp at the Bartholomew County Public Library is also designed to be fun and has grown in popularity since it started two years ago.
“We try to create an environment where kids are comfortable to learn,” Lopez said.
The Spanish Learning Center also plans to offer Saturday lessons from 9 to 11 a.m. for the fall semester starting Aug. 12 at FFY, Lopez said.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. is considering a two-way language-immersion program that could begin in pre-kindergarten starting in about a year, a move that Lopez said she supports.
“I think this is another choice to learn another language,” she said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for kids to learn something new.”
Spanish Learning Center summer camp
When: 9 a.m. to noon June 19-23
Where: Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 5th St.
To register: Call the Foundation for Youth at 812-348-4558. Deadline is June 14, with participation limited to 20 children ages 4 to 11.
Spanish Learning Center school-year classes
When: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays starting Aug. 12
Where: Foundation for Youth, 405 Hope Ave.
To register: Call the Foundation for Youth at 812-348-4558.