At Heaton Elementary, students engage with books even after the school day is over.
“We try to develop programs that appeal to children and where they develop the idea that it’s really great to know languages other than English,” said Thea Fabian of the Fresno Unified School District.
Fresno Unified launched the new after-school program in response to the Global California 2030 initiative. It gives students the chance to learn Arabic, Punjabi, Spanish, French, or Mixedco.
“We learn to see colors, we learn to know colors, we learn to know days,” said second-grader Isaac Cardeanas.
During the after-school program, students learn the basics and also gain a better understanding of the culture.
“We learn numbers and colors and what the current date is,” added Cheyenne Xiong, a second-grader.
“They learn songs from the culture they’re talking about,” Fabian explained.
Each program is different. At the moment, languages are offered in five elementary schools, with one of the languages being taught in each school.
“One of the goals is that over time students become great communicators in languages other than English,” Fabian said.
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