Tennessee parish bridges Spanish-English language gap
Published: January 3, 2006
MANCHESTER, Tenn. (CNS) -- The 2005 Manchester Christmas parade included a very special float that reflected a growing closeness of the English- and Spanish-speaking communities at St. Mark Church. The float, prepared by the children in the parish's religious education program, featured a Nativity scene with Spanish- and English-speaking children and music in Spanish and English. Last year for the first time St. Mark combined the religious education program for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking children, rather than having separate, language-based programs. Diana Salsbury, coordinator of faith formation for the English-speaking children of her parish, decided earlier last year to include Hispanic children, who had previously attended separate religious education classes. The children "were so happy that they were all included and we knew it was going to work then," said Salsbury. Maria Rodriguez, coordinator for the Hispanic community, said, "I feel very good about it. ... The kids seem to be happier and more interested in what they are learning."
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