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West Elementary students learn school traditions in English, Spanish

“There are some pretty big words in our ‘Alma Mater,’” noted West Elementary music teacher Emily Rush during a meeting of the Russellville City Schools Board of Education Oct. 27.

Rush said that in teaching the school songs to her kindergarten through second-grade English-learner students, she noticed they had a hard time understanding the words – something that kept them from fully participating. Through her expanded efforts, students have been learning RCS songs and other school traditions in both English and Spanish.

The board invited her to bring some of the students to demonstrate what they’ve been learning.

Rush presented a slideshow that explained what a fight song is and when it’s used and showed the English words to the school fight song and “Alma Mater” alongside rough Spanish translations, including audio versions of the Spanish translations. The students brought paper torches to hold as they showed their school spirit.

Collaborating with RCS coworkers, including RHS’ Alma Martinez and her students, each line of the songs were translated into Spanish.

“It’s a great idea and very much appreciated,” praised RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes. “One of the biggest things we have in the Russellville City Schools is our traditions, and that’s why our school system is so strong – because of the tradition and pride in our schools. We have to make sure everybody understands the importance of those and see to it that we continue to build and support them.”

In other business, in recognition of Principal Appreciation Month, the board called forward and recognized each of the principals and assistant principals.

Among other approvals, the board approved the following expenses:

  • Door access security system for RHS
  • Cameras and video intercom for entry doors at RHS
  • Contractor services and furniture for RHS Project Phase I
  • Paving work at entrance of West Elementary and stadium
  • Drainage work at RHS stadium
  • Softball field dugout project
  • RHS parking lot paving project
  • Insurance for school buses
  • Monthly bond payment to the City of Russellville
  • Monthly payment for SROs to City of Russellville
  • Textbooks
  • Painting RHS Career Tech building
  • Turf renovation machine for Park and Rec

In light of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next meeting of the Russellville City Schools Board of Education will take place Nov. 29 at 8 a.m.