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Oak Park USD Wins Golden Bell Award

The California School Boards Association has named Oak Park Unified School District the winner of a 2012 Golden Bell Award for our Chinese Language and Culture Program.
Thanks to earning a federal FLAP (Foreign Language Acquisition Program) grant, the program includes weekly instruction for all 5th grade students in the District’s three elementary schools in basic Chinese language, culture, and writing.  A Chinese language and culture class (Explore Your World –China) is offered to sixth grade students, an Intro to Chinese class to 7th and 8th graders, and a Chinese I class to eighth grade students.   At Oak Park High School, Chinese I, II, III and AP Chinese Language and Culture classes are available.  For the past five years, a Chinese Cultural Night has been held at Oak Park High School and is considered part of the Chinese class curriculum for all levels. This event offers a comprehensive display of students’ language skills and cultural knowledge as dramas, skits, songs, dances, and martial arts are preformed with traditional musical instruments, costumes, and decorations.
In the 2011-2012 school year, over 525 students district-wide participated in the Chinese language and culture program and the enrollment in this year’s classes continues to grow, with an over 500% increase in the number of students taking Chinese II.  It should also be noted the AP Chinese class has a 90% pass rate on the challenging AP exam, a strong testament to the caliber of the program and the teachers.
We would like to especially acknowledge our amazing teachers, Sherry Hung and Helen Yap who continue to make this program a huge success.
The Chinese Language and Culture Program will be honored at the 33rd annual Golden Bell Awards program of the California School Boards Association (CSBA) on Saturday, December 1 in San Francisco at CSBA’s annual conference.
This is the third time Oak Park Unified School District has been honored with the prestigious Golden Bell Award. The other programs honored were the Oak Park Neighborhood Preschool (2005) and the Environmental Awareness, Education, and Accountability Program (2010).
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne