SPRING HILL — Going to Spanish class apparently is just not enough for about 30 students at J.D. Floyd K-8 School. They gather for extracurricular time in teacher Jean Squiller's Spanish Club.
Students choose to meet either before school on Wednesday mornings or after school so all students can be accommodated. Though mostly seventh-graders, a few bring their younger siblings.
Squiller offers a two-year Spanish program that provides one high school credit.
"When they go into high school," Squiller said, "they'll go into Spanish II. The club enhances those classes.
"Last year, many students were interested in having a Spanish Club, so this year I established it," she said,
During the meetings, students do such things as make Spanish crafts, celebrate Spanish holidays and play Spanish bingo. They have made piñatas, and they are currently forming animals out of clay. They are learning the Spanish words for the creatures they are creating, and "as they complete these, they'll do a little report in Spanish talking about their animals," Squiller said.
Andrew Morris, 13, has been particularly enjoying the clay.
"I chose to make a crab (or) congrejo," he said. The reason he joined the club, he said, was "because I like to hang out with my friends, and this seemed like a good place to do it. And the teacher's fun. She knows us. We all have her."
Abby Hendry, 13, said she joined "because I thought it would be very interesting to learn the cultures of some places and do activities."
Her favorite of those was making the piñata.
"That one's my piñata," she said, pointing to a Nemo-looking fish suspended from the ceiling.
Kiara Williams, 12, made a pez (fish) for her clay animal.
"In Spanish Club, you get to do Spanish activities, have fun and do it all with friends," she said.
Hannah McInnis, 12, mentioned a group activity that is displayed along a classroom wall.
"We made a city," she said.
To build the ciudad, students selected different businesses and made the buildings out of cardboard. Then they put them all together along streets.
The businesses included El Restaurante China, El Banco Nacional, Le Estacion de Policia and, not surprisingly, a Taco Bell. Along another wall the students built a zoo.
Hannah said she was trying to make a donkey, or burro, but it turned into Pokemon Pikachu. She didn't have a Spanish word for that creature from the Japanese game-based media franchise.
Harrison Celt, 5, is a kindergartener who comes to the club with his seventh-grade sister, Victoria, 12.
He particularly liked making Santa Claus (San Nicolas) from a pine cone, complete with goo-goo eyes and, he said, "I think a button for the nose."