The UW’s Center for Spanish Studies, one of twelve in the U.S. and Canada, is a cooperative venture between the University of Washington, the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education. Located in Padelford Hall, Room B-202C, the Center’s purpose is to promote and support programs that teach Spanish to K-12 students in both public and private schools.
Here are a few examples of recent activities sponsored and made possible by the Center:
- Candidates who applied for positions as assistants in Spanish schools through the Cultural Ambassadors Program are being offered placements throughout Spain for the coming school year 2014-2015. Around 2,000 candidates have already accepted their positions. “Last year, 50 applicants were from the UW and the rest were from the Pacific Northwest,” said Eva González-Abad, director of the Center. “We are expecting roughly the same this year.”
- The Center has diligently been working with the Seattle Art Museum to make the Joan Miró exhibition a success in the area. By the end of the exhibition in late May, around 30,000 students had visited and joined the activities offered by the museum.
- On March 15 the Center offered a free professional development opportunity for teachers of Spanish in the State of Washington. El Cortometraje en la clase de español was presented by Inma Raneda-Cuartero, senior lecturer at the Division of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the UW.
- On May 3 the Center hosted the 16th annual awards ceremony for Escribo en español, a contest for students of Spanish in Washington State. The ceremony was held at the Seattle Art Museum to coincide with the Miró exhibit and was attended by the Honorable Brad Owen, Lieutenant Governor as well Luis Fernando Esteban, the Honorary Consul of Spain in Seattle. Also in attendance were Alan Burke, Ed. D., Deputy Superintendent of the State of Washington, and Dr. Anthony Geist, Chair of the Division of Spanish and Portuguese at the UW. With record participation in the number of schools that participated and in the number of people attending the ceremony, the event was a great success.
- The Center offered another free professional development opportunity for teachers of Spanish in the State of Washington, especially targeted at High School teachers of Spanish with a sizeable population of Heritage Spanish speakers. This session took place in Pasco, WA, on May 17 and was co-sponsored by the Division of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the UW, OSPI, Columbia Basin Colleges, the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle, the Cervantes Institute in Seattle and Vista Higher Learning. Participants came from all over the state, from Edmonds to Wenatchee.
Be sure to check out the Resource Center’s bibliographic and video graphic materials as well as novels and books on teaching, traveling and Spanish culture. According to the UW Center’s Director, Eva González-Abad, anyone interested in the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures can borrow materials from the Resource Center. “No card required!”