Spanish students plan fund-raiser for Costa Rica trip


January 23, 2000|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AN OPPORTUNITY TO study abroad is a dream of many students. But this summer, 21 advanced Spanish students from North County High School will have an opportunity to do just that.

The students and their faculty advisers, Linda Swenson, Lucy Green and Erin Casey, are busy planning a study trip to Costa Rica. To defray costs, the students are sponsoring a Longaberger basket bingo from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Roland Terrace Democratic Club, 619 Matthews Ave., Brooklyn Park.

Swenson said the advanced language class travels at least every other year so the students can become fully immersed in the language and culture of a foreign country.

"This is `sink or swim.' They have to use their skills," she said.

Earlier trips have taken North County students to Spain once and Mexico twice.

To enroll in the advanced classes, a student must have completed three years of language studies. Swenson said the advanced students are serious about their studies.

"They are more interested in the culture and the language after they have had three years of studies. They are not just going on these trips to have a good time. They must pass their classes. And we've always had a minimal amount of problems."

In Costa Rica, the students will spend a week with a host family and become acquainted with life there. As part of their preparations for the trip, the students write to the host families to introduce themselves.

Each trip takes a year of preparation. Swenson first contacts travel companies and evaluates their programs. After a destination is selected, Swenson schedules a meeting for all advanced Spanish language students and their parents so they can learn more about the trip.

This is also when the fund-raising begins. The cost for the trip is $2,200 per student.

"This money doesn't come easy," Swenson said. "During our meeting we discuss with the parents and students how to raise these funds."

North County parent Edward Kosack said the students have been busy working to raise the money. "The students have sponsored concerts, car washes, sold wreaths and worked baseball games at Camden Yards," he said. "They will be doing all the work at the bingo."

Kosack's son, Ed, a junior at North County, will be making the trip. "He is really excited about it. He's very serious about studying Spanish and knows the value of being bilingual in today's world," the father said.

Does all this hard work and world travel pay off? Just ask Swenson.

"I keep in touch with some of the students. They are studying Spanish in college. One is preparing to be a Spanish teacher, and one will be going to Spain for the junior year in college.

"These trips help the students connect to the outside world. They see our culture with different eyes and see that there is more than one culture in the world. It's real important to see how others think."

Admission to the bingo is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Refreshments will be sold. For more information, call Edward Kosack at 410-789-7049 or Anna D'Acunzi at 410-760-0680.

Brooklyn Park alumni

The Brooklyn Park High School Alumni Association will meet at 6: 30 p.m. tomorrow at the Brooklyn Park library, 1 E. 11th Ave. Topics will include proposed spring and summer activities and the association's role in supporting the new Brooklyn Park Middle School.

Alumni and friends of the school are welcome. Information: 410-636-3269 or 410-789-7214.

Catholic Schools Week

St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic school students, staff and parents invite the community to join them in the celebration of Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5.

The festivities begin Saturday, with an ice cream social in the school hall from 5: 30 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m.

On Jan. 30, a reception will be held in the school hall after the 10: 30 a.m. Mass.

Each school day from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 will include activities to support the week's theme "Lighting the Way to a New Century."

The activity Feb. 1, for example, will highlight the community. The eighth-graders will prepare a luncheon for members of the parish senior club and write letters to parish shut-ins.

The faculty takes the spotlight Feb. 4 with a dinner sponsored by the St. Rose Home and School Association.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 5, the school band will perform at Glen Burnie Mall.

St. Rose of Lima School is at 410 Jeffrey St. in Brooklyn. Information: 410-355-1050.

Flapjack feast

The Men's Club of St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church will sponsor a Super Bowl Special All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 in the church hall, 4708 Prudence St. in Curtis Bay.

Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and younger. A family ticket, which admits two parents and two or more children, is $10.

Information: 410-636-6496 or 410-355-4588.

Eat and play bingo

The Roland Terrace Democratic Club will sponsor a dinner bingo today in the club hall at 619 Matthews Ave. Admission is $20 and includes a Salisbury steak dinner and bingo.

Early bird games will begin at 1 p.m.

Information: 410-636-1504.

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