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.

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Arts Education and the Sun Future Foundation

credit: Sun Future Foundation

As a former school director and education researcher I often think about what we need to teach our children. To me, the 4 C’s that are Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity are essential skills to equip our children with for today’s and even tomorrow’s world too. But we need to go even further than that by teaching our children a fifth C: Compassion.

This point culminated during my recent visit to China to an art education project in a school for migrant workers’ children in one of Beijing’s outer rings, Beijing Shijingshan Cement Factory Elementary School, through a program called “Enlightenment of Love.” The project received support from Sun Future Art Education Foundation which bases itself on the belief that “Art Education Makes Good People,” and aims to help children grow both heart and mind. I was impressed by the teachers’ focus on exploration and innovation through aesthetics and photography, particularly as a way to build identity and encourage love and compassion among their students who predominantly came from disadvantaged families.

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Laoniu Children’s Discovery Museum in Beijing

During my trip to China I was offered the opportunity to visit Beijing’s Children Discovery Museum, a 0-to-7-year-old early childhood education project jointly developed by Lao Niu Brother & Sister Foundation together with China National Children’s Center, China Philanthropy Research Institute, and Beijing Normal University. By creating this museum in Beijing, and a similar one in Inner Mongolia, Lao Niu Foundation sought to introduce innovative and interactive exploration to Chinese children, through advanced design concepts and practice models commonly found in children’s museums in the United States and Europe, while combining Chinese traditional culture in the model. Since opening on June 1, 2005, Lao Niu Children’s Discover Museum is the first large-scale children’s museum in Beijing.

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Inauguration of New Mural by French Artist Hervé Tullet at P.S 84

French artist Hervé Tullet has done it again! This time he has touched two school communities in Manhattan: P.S. 84 The Lillian Weber School of the Arts and Lafayette Academy (M.S. 256). Both schools boast a French dual-language program and now a beautiful collection of artworks painted by the entire community. Even an entire wall was unveiled, showing the impact of art in getting a community closer together.

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Multilingual Education Fair in Washington, DC

I am thrilled to keynote during DC’s upcoming Multilingual Education Fair on January 26. Co-sponsored by the key education institutions of the District, the fair features 100 exhibitors covering 12 languages to allow you to explore and deepen your linguistic and cultural skills, and learn about careers where language skills are crucial.
The Fair will be located on the Gallaudet University campus at the I. King Jordan Student Academic Center (800 Florida Ave NE, Washington DC 20002).

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[PL] Dwujęzyczne programy w języku polskim rozwijają się w Nowym Jorku

Cieszę się, widząc nowy polsko-angielski program dwujęzyczny rozpoczynający swoją działalność w PS 71 w Ridgewood, Queens. Jest to drugie tego typu przedsięwzięcie w Nowym Jorku, po programie założonym w PS 34 w Greenpoint na północy Brooklynu, w 2015 roku.

Niedawny artykuł Radia Polska omawia rozwój szkolnych oddziałów dwujęzycznych w Nowym Jorku, a zwłaszcza klas angielsko-polskich w Greenpoint i Ridegwood. Autor tego artykułu wspomina również o mojej książce “The Bilingual Revolution”, której jeden z rozdziałów poświęcony jest otwarciu pierwszego polsko-angielskiego programu w Greenpoint.

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The Burlington Bilingual Initiative

I recently took part in a broadcast panel discussion on bilingual education at the CCTV Center for Media & Democracy (Channel 17) in Burlington, Vermont, to both present my book, The Bilingual Revolution, and support efforts to create a bilingual educational experience in the school system of Burlington. Host Steve Norman, Francophile and activist, took part in this discussion alongside Congo-born Cleophace Mukeba, Vermont Ibutwa Initiative founder, and Burlington City Council President Jane Knodell. Continue reading