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Sept. 26th: Aprender

A mural outside of the German Gerena School in Springfield
Kaliis Smith
A mural outside of the German Gerena School in Springfield

We are voracious learners.

That may be why we are excited to hear about what has recently been learned from OSIRIS-REx on it's mission to survey the asteroid belt. We discover with Mr. Universe, Hampshire College's Salman Hameed, that not only is this a lesson in initialism (not an acronym, as we learned with the Word Nerd a few weeks back), but in expanding what those potential resources and hazards could mean for our future here on Earth.

We also love learning how to make our bodies move. We're lucky that in this area, we have a couple that are not only preserving traditional dance, but innovating on top of it and bringing both to the public to broaden our understanding of both. Brendaliz Cepeda and Saul Peñalosa are the powerhouse couple behind Bomba de Aqui, an organization that not only performs Bomba to audiences across New England, but teaches it and its history to folx everywhere. They give us insight to how the core of the style is a form of communication, and how that connection can build better roots.

And it's in kids getting to learn in broader ways. We head to Springfield's inaugural dual language program at German Gerena Elementary School. There principal Cindy Escribido and teacher of this innovative class Cindy McDonald tell us of their expectations and progress so far with the fledgling program seeking to create bi-literate students and more inclusive learning environments.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.