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April 5th, 2010
Grijalva Congratulates Tucson Schools for Receiving Grant to Expand Arabic Culture and Language Instruction

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today congratulated Cholla Magnet High School and Safford Magnet Middle School in Tucson for receiving more than $58,000 from the Department of Education to expand their Arabic language and culture programs. Cholla is already a local leader in the teaching of Arabic, an increasingly important subject as American businesses and agencies look to increase their presence in the Middle East. Its International Baccalaureate program in Arabic has 60 students enrolled and 20 on the waiting list.

The money will go toward creating an Arabic program at Safford, offering more frequent and more advanced classes at Cholla, and increasing both schools’ coordination with the University of Arizona’s Center of Middle Eastern Studies. The University will offer Arabic guest speakers, art, music and theater to increase cultural appreciation and provide a greater context for linguistic studies.

Safford will create a new class in Middle Eastern Studies for 6th grade students and offer beginning and intermediate language classes. Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) officials are planning a future Arabic program at several elementary schools that will further expand Tucson students’ interest and appreciation.

“This is a great opportunity for Tucson schools to lead the way in modernizing their curriculums and meeting the needs of the modern economy,” Grijalva said. “Arabic language and culture are a major global phenomenon, and helping students understand and study it at an early age is both wise and necessary.”

For more information, call Francisco Moraga at TUSD at (202) 225-4005.

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