BROOKSVILLE — Once a year, Hernando High School students learn a little more about the world outside Hernando County — outside the United States, really — during World Language Week.
The most recent effort was coordinated by Spanish teacher Ana Garcia and French teacher Bonnie Clark, with Spanish teachers Limor Moake and Katia Valdeos and German teacher David Wilson also participating.
Each teacher schoolwide was invited to choose a country. Those who participated then decorated their bulletin boards and prepared lessons on their particular countries.
During the week, there was a different activity each day. On Monday, qualifying students were inducted into the Spanish and French honor societies. On Tuesday, students were treated to cartoon festivals. There was one catch, though: They were in French and Spanish.
Wednesday was a big day. The bulletin boards were judged and winners chosen. The most artistic designation went to reading teacher Melissa Noward's Vietnam display. American and world history teacher Tanya Stanley-Stiles won most informative for her Kuwait board. The most interesting board was TOPS teacher Susan Cooper's on Japan.
Garcia won most colorful for her Russia display. Library media specialist Sue Loper won most unusual for her Netherlands exhibit. TV production teacher Genele Firlik had the most creative board, which featured Antigua and Barbuda.
Another highlight Wednesday was the foreign food lunch for teachers, judges and language honor students, who acted as escorts.
Tables were laden with interesting foreign dishes. Some were Finnish tiger cake, Polish haluski, Hungarian krumplikolbas, Dominican Republic corn and rice, Spanish empanadas, Estonian dark rye bread, German potato salad, Irish pasta salad and Greek salad.
Junior Brittany Begley, 16, is a French Honor Society student and served as an escort for the judges. She was impressed with all the displays.
"It was really interesting to look at all the different ones," she said.
There were a few countries that stood out to her, ones she didn't know — Djibouti, Antigua and Barbuda.
Sophomore Ruby McGeehan, 15, another French Honor Society student, also acted as an escort and enjoyed the week's activities.
"It was a fun way to learn facts of countries you might not even know," she said.
She also liked that the teachers contributed.
"It was fun having teachers and administrators involved," she said.
This was not the first language week for Spanish Honor Society president senior Bethany Davis, 18, who is also a member of the French Honor Society.
"We've had World Language Week every year since I've been in school," she said. "It exposes kids to things they wouldn't necessarily be exposed to. It's good to see the world in our own community."
The bulletin board displays and international lunch were only the midpoint. On Thursday, there were foreign language spelling bees, and on Friday teachers had the freedom to teach their own lessons about their own individually chosen countries.
Ana Garcia has been a coordinator of the event for years.
"It's a beautiful event," she said. "It's fun for the kids. They need to be aware of other places in the world."