New after school program teaches students global languages

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An after-school program in Fresno is giving students the chance to add a new language to their resume at a young age.

At Heaton Elementary students are hitting the books even after the school day is over.

"We're trying to develop programs that are enjoyable for kids and where they develop a sense of the idea that it's really great to know languages other than English," said Thea Fabian with 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 Mixteco.

"We get to see the colors, we get to learn about the colors, we get to learn about the days," said second-grader Isaac Cardeanas.

During the after-school program students learn the fundamentals and also gain a better understanding of the culture.

"We learn about the numbers and colors and what's today's date," added second-grader Cheyenne Xiong.

"They learn songs from the culture they talk about stories," Fabian explained.

Each program is different. For now, the languages are offered at five elementary schools, with one of the languages taught at each school.

"One goal is that over time students become great communicators in languages other than English," Fabian said.
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