CBS47 chose Baird Middle School as this week's Cool School because of something cool that all the students are doing... they're all learning to speak German.
While it's not unusual for children to learn a foreign language, we were surprised to learn that all 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders are required to take German language classes at Baird.
Also to our surprise, the kids love it.
Many of your are asking the same question we asked: Considering the population of the Central Valley, why German, instead of Spanish? German teacher Janelle Grunberg said, "I wasn't here when they originally did that, but the way I understand it, they were looking for something a little more international. And I think, for me, it is positive, because we already have so many Spanish-speaking kids. The German puts everybody on equal ground. All our kids come in and have an equal opportunity to experience a new language."
It's always easier to learn when a class is fun, which is why students use hand puppets, and the amusing songs the students sing in German.
Principal Janetta McGensey said, "They start in the 5th grade, and so by the 8th grade, they've become - I wouldn't say fluent - but they are able to converse in German. And so it's something they can do, that their parents can't do."
Student Maddie said, "It's kinda fun. At my house with friends, we'll be talking German and my parents will be like: What are you saying?"
Congratulations to Baird Middle School for being this week's Cool School.
You can nominate your Cool School by clicking the related link.