Local third-graders mix business, Spanish language classes to help students in Tanzania | VailDaily.com

Local third-graders mix business, Spanish language classes to help students in Tanzania

AVON — Sometimes small people can do big things.

Take Georgina G. Nifosi Sosa's third-grade class at Homestake Peak School.

Nifosi Sosa was looking for ways to develop communication skills in her Spanish language arts class, she said.

"The kids — my 'llamas,' I call them — were learning in their social studies class about how to develop a business plan," she said.

She noticed that during lunch, some students grab more food than they eat and then throw away the leftovers. Nifosi Sosa is a global thinker originally from Argentina. That started her thinking about our globe.

Last fall, her class worked with a Guatemalan school, which put a face on international studies. As part of all that, she staged a concert for Puerto Rice hurricane victims and a school where she used to teach. Like most philanthropic efforts, Nifosi Sosa has a friend who knows someone who knows someone. One of her friends had volunteered in a tribe in Tanzania.

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"That's when I started to read about the project. I got together with my friend and contacted the leader of the project," Nifosi Sosa said. "I decided to work with the kids to make a significant project, in which they would learn Spanish, social studies and, most important, values."

They designed the project and went to work. Everything in the world begins with grammar, or should, and vocabulary useful for selling things, because to raise money for their Africa project, they had to sell stuff. Then they set about creating and building the things they would sell.

Nifosi Sosa invited Patricia, the friend who had worked in Tanzania, to show the class photos and video and talk about her experience.

"My kids learned a lot, from learning where Africa and Tanzania are located to understanding how important it is to have water, food and a pretty school like ours," Nifosi Sosa said.

They listened to music from Tanzania and wrote letters to the kids in Africa.

Last Friday, April 13, kids from other classes, as well as parents and staff, showed up to buy the stuff the class had made.

"The classroom was filled with people wanting to help and donate," Nifosi Sosa said. "The great thing was that I gave parents a script, too, and they had to practice Spanish dialogue all that week with their kids."

The kids were happy because they were selling things they had made and helping other people.

Their teachers were happy because their students created business plans and marketing materials and acquired Spanish-language skills.

Everyone else was happy because the class raised approximately $230 dollars.

"We have a lot of support from our school. The support we have here, I can feel the love," she said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.