Monday, February 3, 2014

Lunar New Year

What a great presentation of what our Janesville International Education Program (JIEP) is about and its goals on the front page of The Janesville Gazette on Saturday.

Reporter Nick Crow and photographer Dan Lassiter captured the essence of what we do. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to read and view the story.

Here’s a link to it:

I won’t go through the entire story here in my blog, but there’s one take-away we should all be aware of. This story points out the advantages of JIEP (Janesville International Education Program), including one that some people may not be aware of.

Sure, JIEP highlights foreign language and foreign culture studies for the students in the program. Yes, JIEP puts our district on the map as a model for other districts in Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

But, what about our students who are not in the program and who may not have an interest in a foreign language or international studies? This is a question I often hear.

After all, our mission is “To serve our community by educating every child.”

Well, as Mr. Crow and Mr. Lassiter pointed out in Saturday’s story, the celebration of the Lunar New Year was not only a celebration for the fifth grade students in Jessica Wang’s Chinese language class at Harrison Elementary.  All Harrison students in all grades joined in the celebration as the fifth grade students paraded through the school in a typical display of Chinese costume and art.

In short, this was an all school celebration in which all students were exposed to the Chinese language and culture.  Harrison Principal Jessica Grandt-Turke said it best.

“The School District of Janesville deserves credit for being so progressive,” she said. “It benefits students to teach them that the world is bigger than Janesville, Wisconsin. We have a responsibility as educators to teach that and be global citizens.”

I could not be more pleased at how our JIEP program is progressing and the opportunity to share our successes The Janesville Gazette provided us.

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