Creating a Support Base for P.S. 147’s Japanese Dual-Language Program

With Yukari Levine, Kayo Kudo and Akiko Iwakawa-Grieve

As discussed in my book The Bilingual Revolution, a critically important task for parents engaged in their school’s dual-language program is to create a support base in the community, such as influential individuals, business leaders, elected officials, and supportive organizations. These include local and global businesses, embassies and consulates, cultural centers serving a language or a country, foundations with a focus on education or community development, tourism offices, chambers of commerce that serve businesses from two or more countries, and heritage and cultural societies and federations.

The parents of P.S. 147‘s Japanese dual-language program in Bushwick (Brooklyn) are so determined to make their school flourish that they are working on a professionally-made video with testimonials, including several interviews and classroom shots, that will help them reach out to Japanese corporations and community-wide supporters. I was happy to support them and offer my testimonial.

In this article, I describe how the parents created the program a few years ago. Their story is telling and it is thrilling to see how far the program has gone. This shared passion and enthusiasm, as well as the proof that it is indeed possible for a group of parents to create such a program, have also inspired other linguistic communities to join the movement for bilingual education. This is the quintessential story of the Bilingual Revolution. From the efforts and vision of a small few can come an entire movement to bring bilingual education to public schools.

The Roadmap presented on the following pages offer guidelines and lessons learned on how to go about creating your own dual-language program initiative. It is in three phases:

Phase 1: Community Outreach
Phase 2: Locating a School
Phase 3: Launching the Program

Arigato gozaimashita!

-To know more-

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