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NNH teams up with Chattanooga School of Language

Northside Neighborhood House is sending its summer camp kids to faraway places this year — places like France, Japan, Germany and Spanish-speaking countries in South America.

The community nonprofit has partnered with Chattanooga School of Language to bring a cultural and language component to its annual eight-week summer camp for kindergartners through eighth-graders. Each week, CSL will present a three-hour interactive lesson on those countries and cultures.

“We partnered with Northside Neighborhood House because I believe in their mission,” said CSL owner Laurie Stevens. “I think it is so invaluable to young kids to expose them to other cultures and languages. I want to bridge that gap.”

Stevens said CSL is able to provide the weekly lessons at the NNH camp because of a Community Cultural Connections grant from ArtsBuild.

“We are super-appreciative to them for this opportunity,” she said. “They recognize the value of this.”

Stevens will spend two weeks teaching on each culture, mixing in lessons on food and cooking, the arts, games, music and language.

“They may get to taste French crepes and talk about the World Cup coming up in Brazil … things that really make the language come alive,” she said. “There are countless studies that point back to the benefits of learning languages — cognitive, social, emotional. Starting them young is vital.”

Northside Neighborhood House serves children from Upper and Lower Normal Park and Red Bank Elementary schools. NNH Children’s Education Director Amanda Whitaker said registration is closed but she does keep a waiting list. Camp runs June 2 through Aug. 1.

Find out more at nnhouse.org.