CALEXICO — Room 28 at Rockwood Elementary School was not its ordinary self Thursday.
For a few hours the classroom transformed into El Mexicano, a Mexican restaurant staffed by fifth-graders from Ruben De La Rosa's English-language development class.
Instead of being some violation of child labor law or merely a good excuse to eat some tasty homemade Mexican food, the lunch service was actually an English-language exercise for the kids.
While the restaurant's name and style of cooking were derived from south of the border, it was an English-only operation.
"It's a good chance for them to practice their English,' De La Rosa said.
The students, in their roles as managers, hostesses, meal-time entertainers and other employees, interacted in English with patrons. The reservation list included people such Calexico Unified School District Superintendent Roberto Moreno, district board members and some lucky Rockwood staff and teachers.