|Soaking up culture with cotton|
|Written by News Desk|
|Friday, 06 December 2013 09:36|
Wenny Rachmaningrum from Indonesisa, Kyung-Jin Min from South Korea, Gadia Gaitan from Panama, Jen Cantu from USA, and Mukaddes Karaoglu from Turkey have a "cotton picking good time" at Richard and Becky Edgar's cotton field
Photo: Special to The Indy
Marcia Monroe of Millbrook is one of a dozen or so instructors for adult students learning English at Maxwell Air Force Base. The students are typically made up of dependents of foreign military personnel visiting Maxwell's Officer's School and Air War College. Typically the veterans visiting Maxwell are already fluent in English, but for their family members and dependents that is not always the case.
Monroe took her students to have a cultural immersion unique to the American South, especially Alabama, by having the students pick cotton by hand.
"I have been bringing students to pick cotton for the past eight years. We do a lot of different activities to immerse the students in American culture, but word gets around from predecessors to current students and picking cotton is one of their favorite activities," Monroe said.
The group visited Richard and Becky Edgar's cotton field in Millbrook for the adventure, which not only included the adult students but also their children. After having all the "cotton-picking" fun they could stand the class regrouped at Village Green Park for lunch.
Though Monroe is a native Spanish speaker, she has students this year who speak 13 different languages. The students are organized by their skill level in English. But Monroe says as much as the class is about the English language, immersing the students in the local culture is a key importance.
"The Montgomery area and its surroundings are perfect for this because there is such a rich history here. We also take the students to see the Alabama Capitol Building, First White House of the Confederacy, and other historical sites. But they really look forward to picking cotton," Monroe said.
The Spirit of Christmas Committee invites the public to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and the Christmas Festival & Parade Saturday, December 6. The Annual Tree Lighting will be held at Village Green Park Thursday, December 3 from 6 to 7 p.m. There will be live music and concessions and the park will be adorned with new and newly refurbished lighting.Read more...
Photo: Jasmine Farrow (center), a student in the Elmore County Technical School's Medical Sciences Program, was recently announced ECTC Student of the Month for October.
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