Queens senator gives $10,000 grant for P.S./I.S. 78Q’s Mandarin program

senator michael gianaris
Courtesy of Senator Michael Gianaris

Senator Michael Gianaris recently announced a $10,000 grant to help support P.S./I.S. 78Q’s Interactive Language Program, Meg Languages, specifically for their mandarin program.

Gianaris addressed the parents and faculty at P.S./I.S. 78Q’s first PTA meeting of the school year last week, according to a press release.

“The world is increasingly interconnected and our economy is increasingly reliant on knowledge of other cultures and their languages,” Gianaris said. “This is an incredible program equipping students from an early age to have the skills needed to thrive.”

The Senate deputy leader said that New York needs to “invest in the next generation” with programs like Meg Languages.

Meg Languages is a Mandarin language program that uses technology to connect students with a China-based teaching team. The innovative program utilizes video conferencing to connect to the classroom.

The Chinese instructor gives a 25-minute lesson via video conference while other teachers in the classroom help with follow-up instructions such as taking children through workbooks, pronunciation videos and introducing Chinese language and culture concepts across the rest of the school curriculum.

Students also interact with their Chinese instructors by sending postcards and sharing photos through the school’s learning platform.

P.S./I.S. 78Q’s principal, Louis Pavone, thanked Senator Gianaris for the grant in a statement.

“Our social and economic future hinges on inter-cultural communication and P.S./I.S. 78Q’s unique Chinese language program is instrumental in rearing the next generation of leaders,” Pavone said. “I thank Senator Gianaris for his commitment to help fund this important program and his ongoing support of our school community.” 

Bree Chambers and Genevieve Bernier, co-presidents of the P.S./I.S. 78Q PTA, also thanked the senator in a joint statement.

“Exposure to multiple languages and cultures is important for our young learners and Senator Gianaris is helping us cultivate an environment at our school where we are able to offer exciting and enriching programs like this to our students,” they said. “We look forward to his continued patronage in the future.”


Editor’s note: A previous version of this article had P.S./I.S. 78Q’s Mandarin program name as “My Chinese Teacher Program (MCT),” but it has been updated with the program’s new name, “Meg Languages” as of Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.

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