New Flushing program teaches Korean culture

New Flushing program teaches Korean culture
By Alex Robinson

School officials and students launched a new program Tuesday at Veritas Academy, which provides opportunities to youth from low-income neighborhoods in Queens and the Bronx to explore Korean culture.

The Passport to Korea program teaches students martial arts, language and culture. Korea TaeKwonDo, a nonprofit that provides free martial arts instructions in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, organized the program.

“Once students learn about taekwondo, they become curious about Korean culture and language,” said Regina Im, executive director of Korea TaeKwonDo. “Our Passport to Korea program will enrich this education by jump-kicking their awareness of cultural diversity.”

International Leadership Charter High School students in the Bronx will join Veritas Academy classmates for the new program, which will take place Saturday. Passport to Korea will include lectures on Korean culture and language, a TaeKwonDo award ceremony and a trip to San Soo Kap San Restaurant to sample Korean cuisine.

Veritas Academy has offered a taekwondo class as an elective since the beginning of the year.

“The taekwondo program has proven to be a huge success at Veritas,” said the school’s principal, Cheryl Quatrano. “I have witnessed firsthand an increase in student self-esteem, self-discipline and self-confidence. In addition, students have developed an interest in Korean language and culture.”

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.