Sept. 26, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
State Sen. Mike Gianaris has announced $10,000 in funding for a Mandarin language program at a public school in Long Island City.
Gianaris announced the grant for PS/IS 78Q in LIC at the school’s first PTA meeting of the academic year.
The grant will go toward the school’s interactive language program which uses technology to facilitate early-age language instruction from teachers across the globe.
The school says that the language program will help prepare students for working in a global economy.
Gianaris said that the program was hugely important and that it teaches children skills necessary to thrive in business.
“The world is increasingly interconnected and our economy is increasingly reliant on knowledge of other cultures and their languages,” said Gianaris. “New York needs to invest in the next generation of economic leaders and programs like this one at PS/IS 78Q make a big difference.”
The program, called My Chinese Teacher Program, is a Mandarin foreign language program using technology to connect to a China-based teaching team. Students receive a weekly 25-minute Mandarin lesson by video conference, while classroom teachers provide follow up instruction.
Louis Pavone, Principal of PS/IS 78Q, said that the program was unique and that it would help prepare students to conduct international affairs when they get older.
“Our social and economic future hinges on inter-cultural communication and PS/IS 78Q’s unique Chinese language program is instrumental in rearing the next generation of leaders,” Pavone said.
Bree Chambers and Genevieve Bernier, Co-Presidents of the PS/IS 78Q PTA, said that exposure to multiple languages at a young age was hugely beneficial and that the program offered exciting opportunities to students.