In Spanish, cantemos means “we sing.”

In Spanish, cantemos means “we sing.” We settled on this name and theme for our Spanish intergenerational project because when we engage in song together we can bridge cultural, linguistic, and generational divides.

So what is the Cantemos project? For the next five Fridays (February 1st, 8th, 15th, and March 1st and 8th) the middle school students will travel to the Lake City Community Center and engage with elder heritage Spanish speakers to build connections and friendships, strengthen our Spanish skills, and develop an understanding of the cultures of some Spanish-speaking areas of the world.

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We are doing this in partnership with Jen Kulik of Silver Kite Community Arts. Dr. Kulik has been engaged in intergenerational program facilitation and development since 1999 and holds a Ph.D in Theatre for Young Audiences. She taught middle school at The Northwest School for many years, and has lived in Ethiopia, Singapore, the UK, and Finland. Jen has also brought her theater productions to Soundview in the past - last year an intergenerational troupe presented an original production of memoirs entitled “Light.”

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Each Friday session will be taught in both English and Spanish, and Don Sephy has been collaborating closely with Dr. Kulik to tailor the lessons to our students’ abilities and interests. The themes for each week will be Culture, Celebration, Lullabies, Childhood Stories, and finally Love and Family. After an ice breaker and a shared song students will break into smaller groups to get to know the elders and practice their Spanish. Then students will come back together for some reflection, followed by lunch together. Students will then help clean up after the session and have a short Spanish class at the Community Center.

We are very excited for this program, and for the opportunity to continue to build connections and relationships in our community.