APSU and MCHS Spanish students team up to teach classes to senior citizens
(Posted Dec. 4, 2018)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Earlier this year, several residents of Fieldstone Place Assisted Living decided they wanted to learn a new language. This group of senior citizens approached Chesney Lancaster, Lifestyle 360 director at Fieldstone, and asked how they could go about taking classes. Lancaster immediately turned to one of the community’s best educational resources – Austin Peay State University.
“The residents wanted to learn Spanish, so I reached out to (APSU),” she said. “And they’re really learning a lot.”
To make the language classes a reality, Lancaster contacted Josh Rees, an APSU student and president of the University’s Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society. That day, Rees happened to be visiting Montgomery Central High School (MCHS), which gave him an idea for a collaborative project.
“I thought it would be great to make this a partnership between Austin Peay, the Spanish Honor Society students at Montgomery Central and Fieldstone,” Rees said. “That way, these talented Montgomery Central students can see that if they come to Austin Peay, they can be involved in the community and gain leadership opportunities.”
Throughout the fall semester, a group of APSU and MCHS students have visited Fieldstone Place every Thursday evening, where they teach residents the basics of the Spanish language. The classes usually start with a simple principle, and then the residents break into smaller groups to practice speaking.
“It surprised me their excitement to learn,” Rees said. “They keep asking us to teach them harder stuff, and a lot of them have gone out and purchased dictionaries and notebooks to take notes in.”
The initial program will end this December, when APSU classes end for winter break, but Rees said the club plans to continue offering the Spanish classes at Fieldstone Place next spring.
“We’re going to do it up until May, and then re-evaluate after that,” he said.
For information on APSU’s Sigma Delta Pi chapter, visit https://www.apsu.edu/student-life/hcc/studentorganizations.php.