WARSAW — Parents have the option of gifting their children with a second language and a broader sense of cultural sensitivity and awareness at Eisenhower Elementary School starting next fall.
Eisenhower was one of five schools to receive a grant from the state of Indiana for the dual-language immersion program, so starting in the fall parents will have the option of enrolling their children into a traditional kindergarten class or into the new dual-language immersion program that will teach the children to be bilingual and bi-literal in Spanish and English.
The way the program works is there will be two classrooms. In one classroom, for half the day, the kindergarten curriculum will be taught in Spanish only, while the other classroom will be English only, then they switch. By the end of the day the two classes will have been taught in both English and Spanish.
According to Eisenhower Principal Chris Gensinger, “It’s a step up for these kids if they’re bilingual and bi-literal. It gives them some global marketing opportunities a lot of children don’t have.” He also mentions, “They’ll be able to look at the world differently because they have both of those cultures at hand.”
According to program literature, children who participate in this program have shown improved performance on standardized tests and tend to develop greater cognitive flexibility, including; better memory and critical thinking skills.
Another benefit Gensinger mentioned is the ease of which a third language could be picked up, “Once you learn a second language it’s much easier to learn a third.”
When asked if there would be other languages added, Gensinger said, “I think this program we are starting is just a seed. We’re hoping it grows and grows to the point the community wants us to add more.”
Kindergarten roundup will be 6-7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at all Warsaw community elementary schools for all incoming kindergartners and their parents. Parents from all WCS elementaries will hear details about the dual immersion opportunity at Eisenhower and they will be able to indicate their interest in this option at their roundup locations