City adds new dual language pre-K programs in 6 Queens neighborhoods

ezra jack keats
Photo courtesy of Facebook/EzraJackKeatsFoundation

Queens toddlers will receive instruction in two languages starting in September when the Department of Education introduces six new pre-K Dual Language programs.

The city announced that the number of these programs will be more than doubled from 30 to 63 Dual Language programs. The languages offered include Spanish, Italian, Mandarin and will begin to offer programs in Bengali and Russian this year.

“Being able to speak and read in a different language, and understand a different culture, is a game-changer for our kids,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “That’s why we are more than doubling the number of New York City’s pre-K Dual Language programs – meeting the needs of our kids and families, and giving more of our children a critical early foundation in not just one language, but two.”

Dual Language classes consist of 50 percent children whose home language is not English and 50 percent English-proficient students. Instruction is held in both languages to help children become bilingual and biliterate. Students in pre-K Dual Language classes will be able to continue on the Dual Language track in kindergarten and elementary school.

Five schools in Queens will offer the program in Spanish. They include Elm Tree Elementary School in Corona, Pre-K Center in College PointP.S./M.S. 138 Sunrise in RosedaleP.S. 76 William Hallet in Long Island City and P.S. 151 Mary D. Carter in Woodside.

In Jamaica, the Ezra Jack Keats Pre-K Center will offer the city’s first Bengali pre-K Dual Language program. In total, Queens will offer Dual Language programs in 11 pre-K centers.