Former Sandusky student returns to teach Spanish class

SANDUSKY Khari Grant is showing students his love for Espaol by teaching them the Spanish language.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Khari Grant is showing students his love for Espaol by teaching them the Spanish language.

Grant, a Sandusky native, was on his way to a teaching degree when he began collaborating with Sandusky Schools.

"I wanted to start a Spanish program for the younger students," he said. "To me, Spanish is a whole differentculture, and I like learning about different cultures. I talked to several of my friends and teachers, and I decided to go for it."

Last school year Grant spearheaded the initiative by collecting donated text and workbooks, opening the after-school program to children in grades K-6.

"We had 37 students," Grant said. "It was a really fun year."

Why Sandusky?

"I was raised here," Grant said. "I went through Sandusky Schools, and I love Sandusky. This is a way to give back to my community."

Grant taught at both Barker and Osborne last year, but this year's program is only at Osborne and open to students in grades 3-6.

Grant said many people don't realize he's volunteering his time.

"I'm not getting paid for this," he said. "I do lesson plans and show them to my boss just like every other teacher does. I'm volunteering my time because I love teaching, and I love showing students my love for the Spanish language and culture."

Applicants for the class were looked at based on their attendance, grades and attitude.

Grant originally set 20 as the maximum head count, but allowed in three extra students who applied.

"I'm not going to turn them away," he said. "I welcomed them all in. There was criteria. This is an enrichment class. They do get a grade for what they're doing. It's not an after-school hangout."

The class meets Monday and Wednesday afternoons for an hour and a half in the computer lab.

Sixth-graders Korie Harper and Alyssa Ridgeway are new to the program, but said they feel like they've learned "a whole lot" in just two sessions.

"I got the hang of it very fast," Ridgeway said. "It's fun."

Sixth-grader Alyssa Martinez said her grandmother and father both speak Spanish fluently, so she decided to keep up her language studies for a second year.

"I was in this class last year. I learned a lot," she said. "This year, I'm here just because I thought it would be fun."

On top of weekly homework, quizzes and sporadic tests, Grant introduces students to the basics, grammar, vocabulary, numbers and short phrases.

His goal is to have the students speaking in sentences prior to his departure in May.

"I'll be finished in May," he said. "I'll head to the University of South Carolina to finish my classes. I want to teach high school Spanish. My hope is someone else will pick up on this, realize what good it does for the students and volunteer their time to take my place."