PITTSTON — “Me llamo Cameron,” 6-year-old Cameron Sciandra, of Pittston, introduced herself.
“Me llamo Sophia,” said 6-year-old Sophia Smith, of Laflin.
“Me llamo Miguel,” said 6-year-old Mikey Prushinski, of Laflin, earning an extra “muy bien” from teacher Genelle Hoban-Sedon for translating his name into Spanish.
The Saturday-morning Spanish class at the Pittston Memorial Library, filled mostly with 6-year-olds and a few younger kids, is giving area children a head start on learning a second language.
“Spanish isn’t part of our elementary curriculum,” said Hoban-Sedon, who teaches at Coughlin High School in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. “It should be.”
“I took Spanish for three years in high school,” said Kristen Harris, a mom from Wilkes-Barre, explaining she’s glad her daughter, Karly, 6, has the chance to start at a much younger age.
Conversation at the library class, which is offered through C & G Tutoring — a company Hoban-Sedon and her husband and fellow teacher, Chris Sedon, have established — soon turned to counting and colors.
“Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco,” said 6-year-old Adeline Joyce, of Avoca, showing she knew how to count to five in Spanish.
“Seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez,” said 5-year-old Avery Dietrick, of Pittston, continuing the numbers to 10.
After a bit of discussion about dogs, cats and other pets — some children had un perro or un gato or even un hamster at home — each youngster talked about his or her color favorito, with lots of votes for rosado (pink), rojo (red) and morado (purple). Then they used crayons in those shades as well as azul (blue), amarillo (yellow) and naranja (orange) to color in their workbooks.
“Do you know how to say ‘rainbow’ in Spanish?” Hoban-Sedon asked the children. “Arco iris. It’s one one of my favorite words. I like the way it sounds.
“The next time it rains hard and then the sun comes out, you can run outside and see if you see an arco iris.”
Several parents who brought their children to the class said they’re glad their children have a chance to begin learning a second language early.
“I love it,” said Star Joyce, of Avoca, who brought Adeline to the class. “It was something I sought out for her. I was looking for a Spanish teacher.”
“She would watch ‘Dora the Explorer’ and say the words back so clearly,” said Gloria Smith, of Laflin, explaining why she wanted to see 6-year-old Sophia delve further into Spanish. “She a learner.”
“We’re all about education,” Hoban-Sedon said, explaining she and her husband met while teaching at GAR High School in Wilkes-Barre. Now she teaches English as a second language at Coughlin and he teaches advanced computer programming at Meyers.
Some people might think “tutoring” is for students who need remedial work, Hoban-Sedon said, but C & G Tutoring stresses “tutoring” can also be enrichment or enhancement for anyone who is interested, from preschoolers through adults. “Basically, we set students up with teachers who are state certified in whatever subjects they need.”
Some upcoming activities C & G Tutoring (570-362-6144 or [email protected]) will sponsor include:
• Free workshops in the Spanish language for 10- to 14 year-olds from 4 to 5 p.m. Aug. 2 and Aug. 9 at the Pittston Memorial Library, Broad Street, Pittston.
• SAT Boot Camps with five days of test preparation Aug. 20 through 24 and Oct. 2 through 5 at the St. Joseph’s Oblates building, Route 315, Laflin. (Cost is $200 with early registration.)
• Coding camp for first- through third-graders on Aug. 6 and 7 and for fourth- through sixth-graders on Aug. 9 and 10 at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. (Cost is $50.)
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.