A new Local/Focus project in the Tremont Street window has replaced the display of Mystery and Thriller Books with a foreign-language immersion program for young children, called Language Together. The brainchild of local resident Germaine Choe, it proposes that the Spot Color Immersion Method taps the natural inclination of children to use their “language instinct” and learn a foreign language with ease, while having fun.
Choe started Chinese Together in 2012 as an after-school Chinese program for children aged three to eight, some classes for which took place in the South End library. The pedagogical findings from this “language lab” became the foundation for the Language Together approach featured in the simply designed and colorful small books on display in the library’s Tremont Street window through March and early April. Choe, whose background is in educational publishing, developed Language Together with teachers and curriculum experts. She previously worked at Living Language, the foreign language division of Penguin Random House, was director of marketing for Lightbulb Press, publisher of the Wall Street Journal financial guides, and managed international distribution for Harvard Business Publishing. She lives in the South End with her husband and two children.
Local/Focus is sponsored by the Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) to better connect the library to the South End community of artists, non-profits and creative entrepreneurs by featuring installations of their work in the library’s prominent Tremont Street windows. Since its start last year, the displays have included exhibits of handmade kites by Karen Watson (Throw Caution to the Wind); wire sculptures inspired by tales of Grimm and Edgar Allen Poe by local artist Will Corcoran; Smiling Button girls’ dresses based on those in children’s tales; sustainable groundwater efforts of Library Park’s LightWells by Michelle Laboy; photographs of poet portraits by Greg Jundanian; bird nest sculptures by Children’s Art Centre students with real bird nests provided by the Mass Audubon Nature Center in Mattapan; ceramic book sculptures by Lori Pease and folded books by Veronica Mueller; and a Thanksgiving and Holiday display by FOSEL volunteers.
Coming up will be exhibits by longtime South End artist Paul Goodnight, watercolorist Marianne Kinzer, a white-line (Provincetown) print show and, we hope, those mysterious South End knitters whose colorful embellishments of fences, bike racks and other public spaces without leaving a name card have intrigued many. If you wish to propose an installation of your own that would be of interest to the larger South End community, please contact head librarian, Anne Smart, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617 536-8241.