It's a slow process, but the Spanish language is gradually being introduced in Grand Junction's elementary schools.

It started a few short years ago when BeLingual Kids, Inc. was formed and in 2015 surveyed families of Wingate Elementary students. The response was overwhelmingly in support of Spanish instruction at the school. In 2016, Spanish classes were integrated into the schedule at Wingate, so that every student has a Spanish class once a week during the normal school day.

In August of 2018, a Spanish class was offered after school at Appleton Elementary. The class filled up on the first day and there was even a waiting list.

The school district does not fund this effort. BeLingual Kids raises the money to pay an instructor as well as to provide classroom materials and curriculum. The current year has been paid for and fundraising efforts are underway for the 2019-2020 school year.

In a short amount of time, BeLingual Kids has made great strides in exposing Grand Junction students to the Spanish language at an early age and obviously, there's a long way to go before every elementary school in Mesa County can be touched.

Getting students exposed to a second language as early as possible can only be a benefit to them as they advance in their education and on into their adult life.

The next fundraiser for BeLingual Kids is the annual Caddyshack Golf April 13 at Bookcliff Country Club.  This is one of the most fun golf tournaments of the year. In addition to the typical prizes for longest drive and closest to the pin and winning team, there are prizes for best dressed, whackiest hat, and a fabulous taco bar fiesta. You can register at BeLingualKids.com.

[BELINGUAL KIDS]