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Marvin Elementary recognized on CLTA list of distinguished K-12 Chinese programs

Chinese Language Teachers Association award honors top elementary and secondary school programs throughout the United States

Marvin Elementary School announced that its Mandarin Dual Language Program has been recognized as a Distinguished K-12 Chinese Program by the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA (CLTA). Marvin Elementary in Union County Public Schools is among just 16 schools in the United States — and one of two in North Carolina — to earn the designation this year.

“I am so proud of our Mandarin Dual Language Immersion (DLI) team for receiving this amazing award! This recognition is the result of our DLI team’s commitment to providing our students with the best possible language immersion experience,” Marvin Elementary School Principal Dr. Scott Spencer said. “The consistent support from our district office and Participate Learning has allowed our Mandarin program to grow and to be successful year after year. Thank you to our entire school community for supporting our wonderful DLI program here at Marvin.”

Marvin Elementary School, which serves kindergarten through fifth-grade students, started a Mandarin Dual Language Program in partnership with Participate Learning during the 2012-13 school year.

Today, the school has one Mandarin class per grade level, with kindergarten through third-grade students receiving 80 percent of instruction in all subjects in Participate Learning - Chinese Distinguished Language Programs NR the language. Students in fourth and fifth grades operate on a 50/50 model, where instruction is balanced between Mandarin and English.

In total, the program employs six Mandarin teachers and has a student enrollment of 114.

"I want to congratulate Marvin Elementary on this award and for being recognized as a leader in Dual Language Immersion," said Superintendent Dr. Andrew G. Houlihan. "I know firsthand how hard the teachers and administrators work to ensure this program remains one of the best in the state and nation. I also want to thank Participate Learning for their partnership and ongoing support."

To be considered for the honor, programs are evaluated for quality and student achievement. In addition, they must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • At least five years of teaching history;
  • An average teaching experience of three years or more;
  • An average educational level of a master’s degree among the program’s teachers;
  • At least half of the teachers actively participate in various professional development organizations, conferences, trainings or scholarships.

Eligible programs range from standard Chinese as a second language classes and immersive Chinese teaching to after-school or weekend programs.

“We are so proud that Marvin Elementary’s Mandarin program has received such a prestigious recognition,” Participate Learning CEO David Young said. “Dual Language Programs like these not only improve students’ academic and cognitive abilities but also prepare them with the skills and cultural competencies they need to thrive in the modern world.”

Participate Learning - Chinese Distinguished Language Programs NR

Participate Learning partners with schools to build Dual Language Programs for kindergarten through eighth-grade students in Mandarin and Spanish. There are currently 164 programs in 160 schools in North Carolina and Virginia.

About Participate Learning

At Participate Learning, we foster cultural and language connections that empower students and educators to positively impact their communities and the world. In service to that mission, we’ve been partnering with schools and districts since 1987 to improve student outcomes; bring diverse perspectives to schools through cultural exchange and our Ambassador Teachers program; build Spanish and Mandarin Dual Language Programs that support academic achievement, bilingualism and biliteracy; and cultivate real-world competencies that prepare students for their future careers and a more interconnected world. Together, we can create a better future for students.