Last Monday, the English Department at Safe Passage had their first-ever English concert! Organized by our stellar English teacher, Elena Maker, the second graders in our Center for Educational Reinforcement performed for the our 3 and 6 year-old students in the Escuelita. Over the course of five months, Elena worked tirelessly to create fun and catchy songs to gain the interest and attention of her second graders. This worked!
Any time around 2:30 in the main building, you could hear little voices belting out their favorite English tunes such as “I like to eat, eat, eat chicken and pizza!” or the classic “head, shoulders, knees and toes,” sometimes remixed by using clothing vocabulary instead of body parts. All of their hard work finally paid off when they were told by Elena that they were going have a concert! Elena made a big, colorful calendar that the class used to countdown the days until the big show. The anticipation was almost too much to handle!
On the day of the concert the second graders piled into a van to head to the Escuelita. On the way, the kids decided to practice a few songs in their loudest, proudest voices. I think the van driver, José, really enjoyed this part! When we arrived, there were tiny chairs set-up for our little English-learning audience and bigger chairs for our support teams visiting from Maine and Colorado.
Once everyone was ready, the second graders hit the stage. Lead by Elena and her colorful pages of song lyrics, the second graders sang and danced without fear. Their classroom teacher, Lindsay Borrayo, was running around snapping pictures, clearly proud of what a great job her students were doing. When asked at the end of the concert how she thought it went, she exclaimed, “for me it was very gratifying to see the enthusiasm that my students brought to the concert. The support and energy that Elena brought to my students was so great to see.”
Sadly, Elena finished her commitment with Safe Passage and is now on to new places to continue sharing her gift of teaching English. Thanks to her, the second grade students will remember proudly the time they gave a concert entirely in a different language! We hope to make the English concert an annual occurrence. Thanks for reading!
English Program Coordinator