The Peninsula Qatar: Qatar Gives American Schools $115,000 Grant

May 22, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC Qatar Foundation International (QFI) has awarded two separate grants–a total of $115,000–to schools in Austin, Texas and Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Interest in Arabic has grown in recent years. However, in-school programs have struggled to keep pace.

QFI awarded a a $100,000 to the Austin Independent School District (AISD) and a $15,000 grant to Chagrin Falls High School (CFHS) to help expand their Arabic programs.

With the grant award, AISD will establish the first and only Arabic program in the Austin school district. The program will start by offering level 1 Arabic at all three schools, and increase the number of levels offered each year at the high schools in response to student enrollments. The grant will fund for teacher salary, curriculum development and classroom resources.

After Chagrin Falls High School’s Arabic teacher retired last year, the school’s Arabic program was put on hold. Thanks to QFI’s support, CFHS will re-start their Arabic program in the fall.  CFHS teacher Anita Boumitri is both a French and Arabic teacher, and this grant will provide partial salary and teaching materials, as well as training for Ms. Boumitri, who will be attending the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) convention thanks to QFI’s support.

“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 curriculum director Becky Quinn. “We greatly appreciate the support from QFI and look forward to our collaborative work ahead.”

“We are pleased to support the launch of Arabic in Austin and the relaunch of the Arabic language program at the Chagrin Falls School District and to provide opportunities and access to critical language education for young adults across the US,” 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 and Austin Schools to our growing network.”

QFI sees language as a fabric to connect cultures, and has partnered with 24 K-12 schools across the United States to help students learn Arabic.