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Walnut Uses Grant To School Kindergarteners in Mandarin, English

August 23, 2011

Students in the test dual immersion program for pre-kindergarteners became an official kindergarten cohort with the start of the school year on Monday.

In January, the Walnut Valley Unified School District tested out plans for a dual language immersion program with around 40 pre-kindergarten students.

On Monday, the program went from test mode to official with the class of kindergarteners slated to be studied as a group through fifth grade enjoying their first day of school.

“That was to give them a taste of what dual immersion would be like,” said English Language Development Specialist Jenny Kwan-Hata of the pre-K class.  “This is the first official cohort.”

The program, which the district has dubbed “Global Connections – Creating 21st Century Biliterate/Bicultural Children,” has been funded with a $1.2 million, five-year federal Foreign Language Acquisition Program grant.

The goal is to get the 48 kindergartens literate in both Mandarin and English by the fifth grade.  The district was one of only eight to receive a grant for a Mandarin immersion program in the country.

More here.

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