Thirty-eight new bilingual programs are coming to 36 schools in time for the 2016-2017 school year and several local schools serving Sunset Park students are among the beneficiaries: PS 169 Sunset Park, PS 506 School of Journalism and Technology, and Sunset Park Avenues Elementary School.
Specifically, PS 169 (4305 Seventh Avenue) will be opening two Dual Language programs — one in Spanish and one in Mandarin Chinese. They have been awarded a $25,000 planning grant and a $10,000 grant to create a library of materials for each program. All funds come from the federal Title III Language Instruction for English Language Learners (ELL) program.
Both PS 506 (330 59th Street) and Sunset Park Avenues Elementary (4222 Fourth Avenue) will each get a Spanish Dual Language program.
“These additional Dual Language programs will equip New York City students with the language skills they need in order to succeed in school and throughout their careers,” said City Council Education Committee Chair Daniel Dromm.
The Department of Education (DOE) describes dual language classes as 50 percent of students who are English Language Learners and 50 percent of English-proficient students. Both groups of students receive instruction in English and a target language.
Of the 38 new programs, 27 are in elementary schools, seven in middle schools, and four in high schools. Geographically, seven are in the Bronx, 21 in Brooklyn, seven in Queens, two in Manhattan, and one on Staten Island. The programs are in the following languages: Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, Polish, and Spanish.
Brooklyn’s 21 programs also include one in Bensonhurst/Gravesend’s P.S. 101, where Principal Gregg Korrol described their first Dual Language Mandarin Chinese program as a boon for both students and staff.
“Research has shown that children who speak two languages excel in thought process and flexibility of mind,” Korrol said in a statement. “The more expansive your vocabulary is, the better equipped you are to communicate and receive communication from others. Knowing two languages will expand that window even more, and help prepare our youngsters for a more connected global world.”