Kindergartners through second graders will be jumping into German at the Bachman Community Center on Signal Mountain on Sept. 8. JumpIn’ German is an after-school class that introduces young children to German.
The children learn language as well as German culture and traditions through games, songs, crafts, stories, and videos, focusing on themes such as counting, colors, holidays, animals, family members, parts of the body and the alphabet. The program also focuses on weather and beginning reading and writing.
No previous German experience is required, and enough English is used to make sure everyone is comfortable and can follow along, said officials.
Susan Gruber is returning to lead the program and will be joined by Ina Patta. Frau Gruber is an attorney and a certified elementary and German teacher, and Frau Patta, who is living temporarily in Chattanooga with her family, works with elementary school children back home in her native Germany.
Frau Gruber began learning German as a young child while living in Germany. She notes that numerous studies have shown that young children are ideally suited to pick up another language, and although immersion is the best way to learn, starting young and continuing throughout the school years can also lead to foreign-language proficiency. Learning another language even increases creativity, critical thinking, and math skills, Frau Gruber added.
Now entering its fourth year, JumpIn’ German is an ongoing fundraiser for the Bachman Community Center. The cost of $35 a month is donated entirely to the Bachman library. JumpIn’ German also has its own lending library of German materials.
Classes meet for about an hour on Mondays throughout the school year, starting Sept. 8, at 4:30 p.m. Class size is limited. Register by Sept. 3. For more information or to register, contact Susan Gruber at JumpInGerman@gmail.com, the Bachman Community Center at 886-4842, or JumpIn’ German’s Facebook page.