Library offers new language resource for children

I was brought up on the TV show Sesame Street. It helped me learn how to count, read and treat other people.

Sesame Street also taught me some basic Spanish. It was so integral to the program, even back in the ’70s, that I thought nothing of the fact that I knew how to count, how to say “hello,” and how to say “open” and “closed” in Spanish.

My parents both speak fluent Italian. Growing up, they would slip into Italian when discussing things that they didn’t want us to understand, like where they hid our Christmas presents.

My sister and I were desperate to learn the language so that we could understand what they were talking about.

In response, my dad bought a Berlitz Italian textbook and used it as a template for our formal language instruction.

But, I really struggled with it. Despite the fact that I was retaining the Spanish I was learning on Sesame Street, I was not retaining the Italian taught by my dad. Perhaps if my dad were a fuzzy puppet who would occasionally break into song I would have done better.

There’s definitely something to be said for making learning fun. And, that’s why the library is introducing MUZZY to our young patrons.

MUZZY is a language-learning resource for children. It uses sound, animation, interactive content and fun characters to make learning a second language easy for kids.

MUZZY includes eight languages, including Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French and Italian.

MUZZY is available from home, via the Puffin Academy app. Patrons also can access it through the library’s webpage, under “Watch, Read and Listen Online,” which can be found on the Children’s page.

Login with “PendletonPL” and use “MuzzyPendleton” as the password.

Huge thanks to the South Madison Community Foundation for funding this language-learning resource, made just for kids!