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First Cornish Language Crèche Launched
Saturday 16th January 2010 saw the launch of the UK's first pre-school Cornish language crèche - Skol dy'Sadorn Kernewek (Cornish Language Saturday School). The weekly Saturday sessions will be held at Cornwall College Camborne's Karenza Centre – a purpose built crèche operated by the College.
The idea behind the crèche, which runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm, is that children will learn Cornish through play while parents are in the classroom learning Cornish, with the emphasis on ‘how to bring your child up bilingually'.
The initiative is the brainchild of Cornwall College Early Years lecturer and Cornish language speaker Rhisiart Tal-e-bot.
Rhisiart said: "We initially intend to run the school every Saturday during term-time as a pilot to see how many parents are attracted, but our long term aim is operate during the week too. "
Parent Sonya Anjari from Redruth, whose 2 year-old daughter, Zelah, has joined the pre-school, said: "I'm Cornish and have studied languages; I speak French, Spanish, German and Japanese. I thought it was a shame I didn't know any Cornish and this was the perfect opportunity to learn some. I think it's really easy to make different languages part of everyday life and I want my daughter, Zelah, whose name is Cornish, to learn the language of her Cornish heritage.
"I think it's important to be aware of our cultural identity. It's great to be part of this Cornish revival and I think the pre-school is the perfect setting for both parents and children to learn together as they can easily apply it to the home. I want to be able to get up and say good morning to my family in Cornish!"
Another mother, Emilie Champliaud, said: "I want Olwen to grow up tri-lingual, I'm French, so that, along with English and Cornish. "She already counts and sings some songs in Cornish. I feel it will help her realise the importance of belonging to a community and appreciate other cultures as well as getting in touch with her own."
The pre-school is also backed by the Cornish Language Partnership who confirmed funding just before Christmas giving Rhisiart the go ahead to begin the sessions as soon as possible - and with the help of colleagues and some of his own Early Years students the Saturday school looks set for success.
Dave Linnell OBE, Principle of Cornwall College said: "This is an excellent initiative and one we are proud to support. Not only does it encourage and support Cornish identity it also gives our Early Years students the opportunity to be part of a ground breaking project and to learn Cornish themselves, something they would not have had the opportunity to do in their own pre-school years."
Anyone interested in enrolling their child for Skol dy'Sadorn Kernewek (Cornish Language Saturday School) should contact Rhisiart at Cornwall College on 01209 616220.