public government school in New York city will make it mandatory for its students to study the Arabic language.
Sabrina Ford reports for The New York Post, May 24, 2012, that Hamilton Heights School/PS 368, a public elementary school in upper Manhattan will be the first in the city of New York to require that students study Arabic.
Beginning next semester, all 200 second- through fifth-graders at PS 368 will be taught the language twice a week for 45 minutes — putting it on equal footing with science and music courses.
The schools’ principal Nicole (“Nicky”) Kram Rosen says that she selected Arabic — as opposed to more common offerings, such as Spanish or French — because it will help the school obtain a prestigious International Baccalaureate standing.
School Principal Nicole Kram Rosen (l) with Arabic instructor Mohamed Mamdouh (r). Photo by David McGlynn
Angela Jackson, CEO of the Global Language Project, which is backing the initiative, said about Rosen: “She proposed this to the parent association. They were very supportive. Arabic has been identified as a critical-need language [for students’ future] career trajectories. It means they can spin the globe and decide where they want to work and live.”
The Arabic requirement becomes mandatory in September. But PS 368 is a so-called “choice’’ school and no kids, even those living nearby, are forced to attend it. If the school ever enrolls a student who objects to learning Arabic, administrators will deal with that on a case-by-case basis, Jackson said.
Mohamed Mamdouh, who teaches the pilot program, said, “Soon, Arabic will be a global language like French and Spanish. These kids are like sponges. It’s amazing to see their progress.”
Here’s contact info for Hamilton Heights School/PS 368:
1750 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031 @ PS 153 Building
Principal: Nicole Kram Rosen
Nicky Kram Rosen (photo on her Google page)
Nicky Kram Rosen has only been the school’s principal for a year. Here is her LinkedIn page.
H/t FOTM fellow Eyes Wide Open!