The Chicago Public School District is expanding its Arabic language program to three additional schools and adding more online instruction in the language. The moves are paid for by a three-year $888,000 U.S. Department of Education grant.
Mayor Richard Daley announced the grant today at Durkin Park Elementary School, 8445 S. Kolin Ave., where kindergarten through fifth-grade students are already taught Arabic.
School officials said they hadn't decided which schools will get the new Arabic programs.
About 2,000 students at 10 schools citywide already take Arabic.
Daley said students need as much foreign language instruction as possible because it's a skill that's critical to competing in an international work force.
"As you become a more global city, it's important to learn more languages," he said.
Daley added that the district had already received another $1.6 million in other state and federal funds to help augment Arabic language instruction.