Wednesday, June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021

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Washougal middle school students celebrate La Chispa

The Columbian
Published:
4 Photos
WASHOUGAL: Eddie Esparza, One of a Kind Drum Line, works with La Chispa participants at Jemtegaard Middle School.
WASHOUGAL: Eddie Esparza, One of a Kind Drum Line, works with La Chispa participants at Jemtegaard Middle School. Photo Gallery

WASHOUGAL — Hispanic middle school students in Washougal have had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their culture through La Chispa, a program that teaches leadership and life skills, as well as promotes the value of bilingualism. Prior to the pandemic, Washougal students would travel to other Clark County schools to take part in a larger La Chispa one-day regional event focused on high school students. Due to the pandemic, Jemtegaard Middle School Principal David Cooke asked school counselors to bring the experience to their school. The program meets on Wednesday mornings. The May 19 session featured Eddie Esparza, founder and leader of One of a Kind Drum Line, a group of student musicians from Vancouver Public Schools, who perform at community events around the Portland area. “Students tell me it feels good that the school district cares enough to create a program just for them,” said Sandra Renner, Washougal School District Spanish speaking family liaison coordinator. “For one reason or another they don’t always feel like the other school programs are for them. This gives them a chance to express and explore their ethnic backgrounds, be a part of the school and part of the community.”

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