For over ten years now, the Minnetonka Public Schools District has given students the opportunity to experience a taste of other cultures through its wonderful immersion program. And every year, students are amazed at the wonderful things they learn from immersing themselves in different cultures. For the third year in a row, Minnetonka Public Schools, in collaboration with Tonka United and Minnesota United FC, hosted La Copa. La Copa is a fun, community gathering event where students and parents alike have the opportunity to get a taste of the cultures of different Spanish-speaking countries.
Andrew Gilbertson is the principal at Groveland Elementary, one of seven schools district-wide that offers courses in Spanish immersion. Gilbertson was one of the coordinators for this year's event. "It was a great event that really showcased some of the best that Minnetonka Schools has to offer - positive community events that bring people of all ages together to celebrate the great things that are happening," said Mr. Gilbertson.
This year's event featured a soccer match between the Tonka United U17 and U18 Premier Girls teams. The girls battled it out and the game finished 1-0. The game featured guest-coaching appearances by Minnesota United FC stars Miguel Ibarra and Brent Kallman.
At halftime, students and families participated in a 22-country flag parade across Einer Anderson Stadium. The parade featured flags from countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, and many more. Also exciting this year was the participation of a group of Chilean student-teachers from who have been assigned to district schools to share their language and culture with Minnetonka immersion students.
Fans also had the opportunity to sample the delicious flavor of great Latino food provided by food trucks that included: The Salsa Spot, Del Sur Empanadas, El Jibarito, CRAFT and Taco Taxi.
Through events like La Copa, families and students of the Minnetonka Public Schools district can truly immerse themselves in different cultures. "It was wonderful to see so many families take advantage of opportunities like this," said Gilbertson. The opportunity to celebrate different cultures is one that Minnetonka does not take for granted. "It is wonderful to celebrate the many ways in which different cultures can connect," said Gilbertson. "We are all more alike than we are different. We all enjoy food, athletics, dancing, family and music regardless of the culture."