Two Wakefield Country Day School Lower School students recently completed a course of study in Arabic with the STARTALK program through the US Department of Education. Rising sixth graders Rachel Cieplak and Brooke Miller studied Arabic I at a three-week camp held at Taylor Middle School in Warrenton.
They participated in two field trips during their course, one to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia and the other to The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center.
Cieplak, of Culpeper, said, "This was the chance of a lifetime. I learned so much more than I thought I would, and I hope to continue studying Arabic in the future. Mumtaaz! (excellent)"
Miller, of Warrenton, added, "I feel fortunate to be part of this eye opening program, and having a female teacher from Jordan made the experience more interesting. Last year I was in STARTALK's Turkish 1 class; so it is neat to see differences between two languages of the Middle East."
STARTALK is the newest of the component programs of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) announced by former President Bush in January of 2006. The initiative seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically-important world languages.