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State Honoree

Emmie Granbery

Tennessee

Emmie Granbery, 18, of Nashville, Tenn., a senior at Harpeth Hall School, created and teaches a weekly after-school Spanish class to disadvantaged children at a local community center. Emmie has a strong interest in foreign languages and cultures, and wanted to share her passion with others. “I wanted to spend my time giving to others and to find a way to use languages,” she said. Since she had volunteered in the past at St. Luke’s Community Center, she called the volunteer coordinator there to propose the idea of a Spanish class, and immediately got the green light. Emmie spent hours developing her lesson plans, and a few weeks later began teaching a group of 15 kids every Thursday afternoon. As time went by, Emmie realized that the children learned better when she played games with them, so she incorporated more game play, including “Spanish Jeopardy,” into her lessons. Emmie soon became aware that the children were not only learning a new language, but also were thrilled that someone cared enough to share time with them. The program has had such an impact on the children, and on Emmie, that she is now teaching the Spanish class for the third year.