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New Mandarin program in Lake Forest, Ill. gets $22,000 in grants

May 5, 2011

Cherokee School Awarded Two Grants for New Mandarin Immersion Program

By Lake Forest School District 67 Yesterday at 11:37 a.m.

Cherokee Elementary School has been awarded two grants so far to help fund the district’s new Mandarin immersion program. The Spirit of 67 has generously committed $3,000 to purchase kindergarten and first grade materials written in Mandarin. The Illinois State Board of Education awarded $18,944 towards program planning and curriculum development.

Results of a third grant request for $10,000 from China are expected in September.

The District 67 Mandarin immersion program will offer one language immersion (Mandarin) kindergarten class and one first grade class beginning this coming fall.

The program will offer half-day instruction in English and half-day instruction in Mandarin through fourth grade. There has been significant research on the benefits of beginning world language instruction in the earliest grades and using an immersion method of instruction (the teacher uses the new language 70-100% of the time).

Why Mandarin? Some economists predict that China’s economy will surpass even the United States’ sometime in this decade. Yet, less than 5 percent of U.S. public schools have a Mandarin program. Mastering this language will set our Lake Forest graduates apart for college admission and future career opportunities.

Story here.

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