ROCKLAND — Penobscot School invites the public to an open house and 25th birthday party at the school 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the school, 28 Gay St.
The event kicks off the 12-week semester of foreign language classes, with a chance to meet the faculty, to sample “birthday torte” from the hand of German teacher Renate Tower, and to wish happy birthday in Mandarin Chinese with Chinese teacher Wu Yuan Yuan. A special thank-you toast will be offered in honor of the Gay Street neighbors for their support and welcome to the neighborhood 25 years ago in November.
The fall semester will feature 18 weekly courses in eight languages, French and German-themed cooking classes, and immersion opportunities in French, Spanish, Italian and German. Classes also are offered for families in American Sign Language and in Spanish for children.
According to Joe Steinberger, co-founder and current school president, “Courses are independent product of the skills and imagination of the teachers, who are our most vivid resource.”
Teachers are highly skilled, mostly local, native or near-native speakers who conduct their courses according to their own ideas and interests. They number 12 this fall and share a belief in an interactive, fun teaching method that emphasize listening and speaking for effective oral communication, Steinberger said.
Co-founder Julia Schulz, who now is consulting with Augusta public schools on the Maine French Heritage Language Program, said, “Immersion works. For effective teaching, use the chosen language as much as possible.”
In celebration of the 25th year the school is running a fundraising raffle with a look to needed improvements in the school’s building and grounds.
The raffle is the chance to win a week’s stay for four in Tuscany in the spring of 2012. Two hundred $100 tickets will be sold now through November. Tickets may be purchased at the school, and at several Rockland, Camden and Rockport locations. The raffle goal is one-third met.
For more information about the raffle, the open house, or Penobscot School courses this term, call 594-1084 or visit http://www.penobscot.us/ .