flowers, crocus, petals

Spring at Hungarian School Seattle

By Julia Deák Sandler

The daffodils and crocuses have appeared along sidewalks and the youngest learners are creating equally seasonal crafts depicting bunnies and flower wreaths this month.

Our children’s and adult groups are on somewhat different semester schedules. The kids are still in the middle of a semester that runs from January to the end of May, which will be followed by summer vacation. We are very thankful to one of those groups, the Hungarian cultural class for ages 10-14, for taking part in our association’s March 15th celebration with the leadership of their teacher, Barnabas Bede.

Our adults, on the other hand, just finished their winter session and in mid-April will begin their spring session, which runs through June. While registration is still open for that session, the classes are nearly full, so any further inquiries should go to hungarianschoolseattle@gmail.com. We will do our best to accommodate any extra demand either now or starting in July. We owe another big thanks to Gergely Nemeth, the teacher of most of our adult groups, who lives in Miskolc, Hungary. He has not only done a fantastic job with these classes but also took some extra time to prepare a lovely presentation of poems with his more advanced class for the March 15th celebration as well.

The quick progress on vaccination distribution in Washington state is very encouraging, and we hope to be able to meet once or twice in person later this spring or in the summer. Starting in September, we would very much like to return to in-person instruction. Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, where we held classes prior to COVID, has not yet decided whether they’ll be open in September, but they have confirmed that we are first in line to rent those classroom spaces if they do open.

It will be wonderful to see each other in person again, but there were certain advantages to the online mode. We heard from parents of shy students that they preferred meeting this way and also from families who had a hard time getting out of the house on time for 10am classes in Redmond. 

In addition, we have been very glad to see how online classes have made it possible for learners from farther away to join in. We currently have students in Beaverton, Oregon and areas of Washington as far flung as Spokane, Vancouver (WA), Bremerton and Northport. We would hate to take that opportunity away from them, so we are thinking of ways to combine online classes with in-person activities in order to make Hungarian language and culture classes accessible to all. 

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