Chagrin Falls Schools receive grant to offer Arabic Course: Community voices

The Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District received a $15,000 grant from the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) to grow Arabic programming within our 7-12 Campus.

Chagrin Falls High School (CFHS) teacher Anita Boumitri, who was hired as a part-time French teacher for the 2015-16 school year, shared her interest and ability to teach Arabic earlier this school year. The district had previously offered Arabic programming, but a teacher retirement several years ago led to the district’s inability to continue the program.

Renewed student interest in learning Arabic, coupled with Ms. Boumitri’s ability, interest and success in teaching French this school year at CFHS, led to the pursuit of possible grant opportunities to offset the cost of growing Arabic programming.

Director of Curriculum Becky Quinn and CFHS Principal Steven Ast partnered to submit a grant proposal to QFI. The district received official notice of this grant award in early April 2016.

“With this generous grant funding from QFI, we will be able to grow Ms. Boumitri’s existing part-time teaching position to a full-time position in the 2016-17 school year,” said Quinn. “This will enable her to teach Arabic next school year.” The QFI Grant funds will offset 50% of the portion of Ms. Boumitri’s salary that is dedicated to Arabic instruction and provide funding for purchase of instructional resources to support Arabic programming.

“We are pleased to support the relaunch of the Arabic language program at the Chagrin Falls School District and to provide the opportunity for Arabic language education to its students,” said Maggie Mitchell Salem, QFI’s Executive Director. “For the past seven years, QFI has partnered with a number of schools across the US to advance access to Arabic, a critical language in the US, to K-12 public and public charter school students and we welcome the great addition of Chagrin Falls High School to that list. We also look forward to including and connecting Ms. Boumiti to our growing network of Arabic educators that facilitate 21st century skills development for young Americans, in order for them to compete in the global market.”

Through this grant project, QFI will also provide ongoing foundation-funded teacher training. This includes QFI’s commitment to fully pay for Ms. Boumitri to attend the ACTFL annual convention.

“This support will be extremely valuable as Ms. Boumitri grows our program,” said Quinn. “We greatly appreciate support from QFI and look forward to our collaborative work ahead.”

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