Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fiesta 2011 a Success!

This year's annual Spanish Heritage Fiesta was well attended and most appeared to be enjoying themselves. Our Spanish conversation group "Reunion en Espanol" performed the four Spanish songs that we had practiced over the past 8 weeks. The songs were traditional songs selected by our musical director, Oscar. For 8 weeks every Monday night, several members would meet at the home of Oscar & Debbie to practice singing. Oscar not only plays guitar beautifully, he sings and writes songs, too. He has a small music studio in his basement! The songs included: "Piel Canela" "Quizas" "Perfidia" and "La Bamba." There were over 90 people who attended our fiesta this year. Wednesday before we decorated and had a dress rehearsal. We wore ethnic clothing and everyone looked fabulous! Julie, Sal, and Oscar played guitars, with Oscar on the lead guitar. Our performance was quite good until we made a mistake on the song La Bamba. But, we recovered quickly and laughed with the audience! After the fiesta we had a "cast party" to celebrate. All in all it was a fun filled evening, meeting new people, enlightening all about Hispanic cultural aspects, music and songs, in particular. Here are a few photos to highlight the evening.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Puppets arrive at North Valley Public Library!

Hi, Everyone! Last week we had a fantastic conversation en Espanol with 14 people in attendance, two from Missoula. The new puppets for the children's program puppet theater were a big hit! Erika had a "cerdito" (piglet) and Oscar had a "raton" (mouse.) Que divertido!! (How fun!)
Tell your friends who want to practice speaking and listening in Spanish, the North Valley Public Library is the place to go every Wednesday from 6-7:30 pm.

Oscar with a mouse puppet

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Monday, May 2, 2011

El Dia de los Ninos, El Dia de los Libros

Hello, Everyone. The first annual American Library Association event "El Dia de los Ninos, El Dia de los Libros" was held at North Valley Public Library (NVPL) Saturday April 30, 2011. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This year Reunion en Espanol, the Spanish Conversation Group of NVPL, helped coordinate the event with a Spanish theme. There was a puppet show El Tres Cerditos (The Three Little Pigs) with a reading in both Spanish (Catalina Gerner) and English (Susie Brown) with children acting out the parts with hand puppets. Following that was a paper cutting craft project, Papel de Picos, where children and adults cut out pretty paper decorations similar to a Mexican tradition. There was a taco lunch with food provided by members of Reunion en Espanol. The grand finale was the breaking open of a pinata full of toys. Fun was had by all, considering we had to relocate the event indoors at the Library due to inclement weather. Next year, we will investigate other cultures, traditional stories and creative crafts and foods with children being the prime focus. Here are some photos of this year's event.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thank you to all from Amy for MLA Award 2011

Hello! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all of the support and encouragement you have provided to me and to the North Valley Public Library Spanish Language Outreach Program since its birth almost four ago. Last fall, our director, Renee McGrath, the President of the Board of Trustees, John Conlan, and all of the members of our Spanish Conversation group (YOU) nominated me for the Montana Library Association Support Staff Person of the Year and ...I WON!! This award means so much to me; I am deeply touched and honored. I couldn't do as much as I do without you and the tremendous support from my co-workers. We have an excellent team at NVPL with outstanding leadership from Renee and our Board. But, our program would not thrive without your undying commitment and participation. Our Spanish Language Outreach has been a truly rewarding endeavor. It continues to be so alive as newcomers join us, bringing with them new experiences and new requests for materials.
Keep your ideas coming and we will continue to support the program and the Hispanic Heritage cultures. See you Wednesday nights for the Spanish Conversation Group "Reunion en Espanol" on Fridays afternoons for children's Spanish class or Friday evenings for adult's Spanish class.
Hasta Luego! Amy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Viaje a la tierra del abuelo

Recently members of the North Valley Public Library Spanish Language Conversation group watched a film entitled "The Other Side of Immigration." This award winning documentary film focused on the effect upon the families and the communities throughout Mexico of so many able bodied men leaving in search of work in the United States. Very thought provoking film. Mario Bencastro has written a book about a young man born in El Salvador now living in the US who becomes very close to his grandfather while his parents work long hours in southern CA. Before he dies, his "abuelo" (grandfather) asks that he be buried in his home country of El Salvador. The book describes the journey of this young man as he transports his grandfather's body back to his homeland. The book does an excellent job of explaining how this young man feels torn between two countries and not really connected to either country. The book is written in Spanish, but since the target audience is young adults, it is fairly easy to understand for beginner Spanish speakers. Native speakers will greatly enjoy the story of current events happening between Central America and the United States.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friday Evening Spanish Class at Fiesta en Jalisco

Hola, Everyone! Recently students of the Friday evening Spanish class (held at the North Valley Public Library) went on a field trip to a Mexican restaurant to practice their conversational skills for travel. It was a lively event to say the least! Teacher, Oscar Macz, was accompanied by his lovely wife, Debbie and their toddler son, Thomas, who was very entertaining. Besides other classmates, students were able to converse with the staff many of whom are natives of Mexico. Those staff members were informed of some of the services offered at their local library. Oscar has created a web site for his class. If you are interested in learning more, go to: www.spanishschoolscoban.com
Here is a photo of the NVPL Friday Evening Spanish class (also known as The Big Enchilada).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February Update from North Valley Public Library

Hello, Everyone! It has been a while so let me catch you up since the holidays.

Oscar Mazc is teaching a formal class on Spanish on Friday nights from 6:15 - 8 pm. So far we have had about 6 or 8 weeks of classes and there are approximately 8 regular students. Oscar also recently began teaching Spanish to home schooled children ages 5-10 years old on Friday afternoons from 4-5 pm. There are approximately 6 children in that class. Oscar is teaching these classes at no cost, asking only that students donate (whatever they can afford) to the library as we begin the major remodel of our buildings. Muchas gracias, Oscar, you are one of our heroes!

In January we had two celebrations - Spanish Conversation Group "Reunion en Espanol" members Catalina Gerner (our facilitator) (on the left) and Marge Wood (on the right) both had "cumpleanos" (birthdays). We had a fiesta one week, then another the following week (boy, we sure like to party!) when Missoula members, Walter and Tricia, visited to celebrate the birthdays of Catalina and Marge.

Last week we watched the documentary film "Other Side of Immigration" produced by Roy Germano. This 2009 film won numerous awards world wide. Germano interviewed over 700 native Mexicans, many of whom continue to emigrate to the US to work. The film focused on the reasons behind the mass exodus of immigrants from Mexico to the US and the effect this is having on their family members left behind, as well as the economies of their regions. The interviews were mostly in Spanish with English sub titles which provided our audience with an excellent learning experience in the language; there were people with very different educational levels and people with many different dialects. A very informative and thought provoking film from the perspective of those who emigrate to our country. Highly recommend it!

Catalina Gerner and I are working on the edits to the North Valley Public Library website's Spanish section. Check out our website at www.northvalleylibrary.org. Suggestions are welcome!
Maybe some photos of our annual fiestas??? Or links to some relevant websites??

We will continue our weekly conversation group at our usual time of 6-7:30 pm on Wednesdays. If you are interested in joining our Spanish language class on Fridays, please do! You are all welcome. If you know of any newcomers to our area of Hispanic heritage, please invite them to join our conversation group.
Hasta Luego! Amy