Los Pioneros (Trailblazers in Español) is the name of a new after-school Spanish language program at Douglas Elementary. We’re very excited to be blazing a trail for the addition of a second language program for our students! The lessons will be facilitated by EdConnect Language School out of Grand Rapids with Amanda Cisneros as the director and Charlie Michels as the instructor.
We have developed a program that can accommodate as many students as possible, but there are still a limited number of spots for each class. If registration numbers exceed the allotted class size, students
will be placed in the class on a random lottery system. Completing the registration DOES NOT guarantee a spot in the program. You will be notified via email the week of January 23 of your status.
EDCONNECT LANGUAGE ACADEMY
EdConnect (www.edconnect.us) is a small, Grand Rapids-based language school that provides language classes to adults, children, and businesses. EdConnect Language Academy (ECLA) has designed and will implement a K-5th Grade extracurricular Spanish program. EdConnect’s elementary school Spanish classes focus on comprehension and communication. From day one, students will see and hear Spanish in context. This methodology is called “Comprehensible Input” which was developed by linguist Stephen Krashen. His research shows that by providing learners with input (written and spoken) slightly above their comprehension level, they will quickly acquire the language. This means that in our classes, students engage in songs, chants, movement, stories, and conversation in order to learn and practice key vocabulary and grammatical structures. Class is a fun and engaging environment with at least 90% Spanish spoken at all times.
AMANDA CISNEROS - DIRECTOR
Hola, me llamo Amanda. I started EdConnect in 2019 in order to connect people through
language and culture. I have taught preschool through adult Spanish and English for over 20 years (mostly high school). I LOVE teaching, languages, and just getting to know people. I have a master’s degree in Spanish and a current K-12 teaching certificate from the state of Michigan. I have traveled to Mexico, Spain, Cuba, El Salvador, and Ecuador, both for pleasure and leading student trips. I lived in Spain for two years where I met my husband (who is actually from Mexico). We speak “mucho español” at home with our two young daughters.
CHARLIE MICHELS - INSTRUCTOR
¡Hola! My name is Charlie Michels, and I’m thrilled to be heading Douglas Elementary’s after-
school Spanish program! I’m a full-time student at Hope College studying Chemistry and Spanish with ambitions of becoming a pediatrician. I keep pretty busy with school, but with my (limited) free time, I love to ski, take weekend getaways to warmer tropical locations, go to concerts, and I’ve even been known to skydive on occasion. I’ve had a love for the Spanish language for many years--I started taking Spanish classes in middle school, and this passion was really reinforced last summer when I spent two months in Santiago, Chile with a lovely host family. I cannot wait to share this passion with all of my students; it’s incredible to see that they’re starting to learn the language at such a young age!
CLASS NUMBERS & SCHEDULE
GRADE CAPACITIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
KINDERGARTEN 30 students total (2 groups of 15)
FIRST GRADE 30 students total (2 groups of 15)
SECOND - FIFTH 15 students total per grade
CLASSES BEGIN JANUARY 30 AND END MAY 25
MONDAY 3:15-4:00 K-A 4:15-5:00 1st-A
TUESDAY 3:15-4:00 K-B 4:15-5:00 1st-B
WEDNESDAY 3:15-4:00 2ND 4:15-5:00 3rd
THURSDAY 3:15-4:00 4TH 4:15-5:00 5th
-We ask that your student attend all classes outside of any illness or vacation absences.
-There is a $10 registration fee per student unless you qualify for the fee waiver. The money
will be used to purchase supplies for the program.
-Drop off and/or pick up must be promptly at the designated time their class is scheduled to begin or end. It will help to ensure each class runs smoothly and students are achieving the maximum amount of
-For those utilizing Boys & Girls Club, please understand that students cannot return to Boys & Girls Club after they have checked out. They must be picked up by a parent or guardian after their class time.
Want to help? Volunteers will help bring students to and from the classroom. They will also help the instructor during class time. No spanish language experience is necessary. If you choose to provide your info, you’ll be sent information and at that time you will be able to decide if it’s a right fit for you. Email your name, email address, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the volunteer list or sign up on the registration form.
Contact: Tyler and Ashley Voorhees
Email: email@example.com (Preferred)
Call or Text: 605-999-2587 (Tyler) 605-645-7558 (Ashley)