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Cabrillo, Dewey Elementary Schools Split Half-Million Dollar Grant

The Department of Defense has awarded a $503,000 grant to the San Diego Unified School District to fund language programs in Mandarin Chinese at Dewey Elementary School and German at Cabrillo Elementary. The schools will combine classroom instruction in the languages with cultural enrichment activities.

The program is designed to expand, strengthen and coordinate strategic foreign language programs for military dependent students. San Diego Unified serves students whose parents are stationed at Naval Station San Diego, Naval Base Point Loma and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The Department of Defense Education Activity Educational Partnership facilitated the grant review and selection process.

“This grant is going help give our kids a leg up in the global economy,” said Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego), who serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “With the innovative advancements in communication and technology, the world is getting smaller. If America’s future generations are going compete with countries that are rapidly catching up to the United States, they will need the skills and tools to do so.”

San Diego Unified's Operation World Language Project will provide military dependent students attending Cabrillo and Dewey an opportunity to learn German or Mandarin through a foreign language elementary school program that combines classroom instruction with cultural enrichment activities. 

"We recognize that significant language gains are made at an early age and are proud to work with the San Diego Unified School District on this endeavor and to enhance K-12 language education,” said David Edwards, Program Manager, Defense Language and National Security Education Office.

There are more than a million school age children from military families, with the majority attending public schools throughout our nation. DoDEA is committed to supporting educational outcomes for all children of military families.

"The Defense Language and National Security Education Office and the DoD Education Activity are pleased to partner with the San Diego Unified School District in realizing the Strategic Foreign Languages Expansion Program, which is focused on improving strategic foreign language education in military-connected schools," said Dr. Michael Nugent, Director, Defense Language and National Security Education Office.

To be eligible, Local Education Agencies must have a military student population of at least five percent at the district level. Participating schools must have a military student population of at least 30 percent. The S-FLEP projects may be implemented at any grade level.

"We recognize that significant language gains are made at an early age and are proud to work with the San Diego Unified School District on this endeavor and to enhance K-12 language education,” said David Edwards, Program Manager, Defense Language and National Security Education Office.