NOTES & NEWS JULY 2017
Here you can access the Newsletter of the International Institute, Notes & News (Notes & News, July 2017)
From the President
Dear Members of the International Institute in Spain Community,
Traditionally, activities at the International Institute have slowed down during the summer months, but during my recent visit to Madrid, the Institute building at Miguel Ángel, 8 was full of life.
Most striking were the sounds of children and teens enjoying the Summer in the City urban day camp led by Nicole Rosow, director of our North American Language and Culture Program. The dedicated teachers leading the different age groups made sure that campers enjoyed themselves indoors, in the garden, and on excursions, all the while helping them improve their English skills. The campers' weekly performances and presentations in the Paraninfo, showing their accomplishments and understanding of the week's camp theme, were uplifting.
Other children attended the American Space Madrid Maker Camp from July 10-14. Held in the ASM, the camp encouraged boys and girls from 9-12 to learn about and use new and old technologies to build and explore.
As part of our mission of educational exchange, we also welcomed two groups of teachers from schools in the Community of Madrid, who used part of their summer vacations to work with American public school teachers to learn about teaching methods and approaches to enhance the classroom experience for both the Spanish teachers and their students. Janet MacNeil, K-8 science coordinator for the Brookline, Massachusetts, Public Schools, led a course on “Weaving Science and Literacy,” to encourage teachers to use science as a vehicle for improving student fluency in English. Lauren Carroll of the Brookline Schools and Lorella Lamonaca of the Scarsdale, New York, Public Schools taught “Speak Better: Increasing Student Discourse in the English Language Learning Classroom,” with the active involvement of American Space Madrid director Laura Turner. Over a week, the 21 Madrid teachers in this class learned new strategies for encouraging student discussion and creating lively learning environments for English-language students. Emerging from these programs is the possibility of follow-up observation and training during the school year for the participating Madrid teachers. These programs, the first funded through the American Space Madrid, and the second by the Comunidad de Madrid and the International Institute, continue our commitment to bringing the best in US educational thinking and practices to Spain, a goal of the Institute's for its whole 125 -year history.
The International Institute's Fourth of July party was further evidence of the year-round vitality of Institute programming. A large crowd of adults enjoyed a garden party with live music, while kids played indoor games and enjoyed face-painting and popcorn from an antique-style movie-house machine generously operated by Raúl Oliver, Laura Turner's husband.
Cultural events also continued this summer, with a recital by American pianist (and attorney) Mark Damisch, who played a challenging program of Bartók, Dohnányi, Debussy, and Copland on July 12. Damisch's exciting concert was sponsored by the Institute, the American Space Madrid, and the Association of Friends of Music, Museums and House-Palaces.
Another important activity continuing this summer has been the review of our Library collection by librarians Nuria Seguí and Ana Alonso in anticipation of the creation of a new children's library.
As part of this process, the International Institute entered an agreement with the Biblioteca Nacional for the donation of volumes from our collection that the Biblioteca Nacional does not have in its holdings. I was honored to meet with Biblioteca Nacional Director Ana Santos Aramburo for the signing of the agreement, which ensures that the works donated by the Institute will have their provenance identified and provides for a special exhibit at the BN marking the Institute's 125th anniversary.
Even in the midst of Madrid's June and July heat, the International Institute remains a vital force for US-Spain educational and cultural exchange. We invite you to attend our events, use the Library, and become involved in activities at the Institute when Miguel Ángel returns to his full schedule after a brief pause for August vacations.