Missoula high schools students will soon have another choice when it comes to learning a foreign language.
Beginning next year, they'll be able to take Arabic classes after the U.S. Department of Education awarded Missoula County Public Schools over $700,000 in grant money to bring the Arabic language into schools.
The University of Montana and the public school officials developed the program as part of a joint effort and the classes will begin at Big Sky, Hellgate and Sentinel high schools next year.
University of Montana Arabic Professor Samir Bitar says he's delighted Missoula students can start learning Arabic. "It's a great opportunity for the students of Montana, and along with my wish to share my language and culture with Montanans, one of my dreams was also to bring it to the high school."
He added that they plan to hold a summer camp next year before school starts to give students a jump-start on learning Arabic.
- Breanna Roy reporting from KPAX in Missoula