AISBucharest has finally done it! Our community has been dreaming about a strong mother tongue program for several years. A variety of models from other international schools were reviewed and now, this year, AISB decided to plant the seed. As part of the process, numerous questions were asked: Will the parents be supportive? Will all the resources needed be available? How and where will qualified teachers be found?
It was challenging in the beginning but, with the joint effort and hard work from all the members in the school community, all the unknown and unexpected situations turned into learning experiences. As the foundation of the mother tongue program was being set, it was more and more obvious that that meaningful collective goal was offering the opportunity to demonstrate what "unity in diversity" means.
The parents' response was dazzling! "Why haven't we started this before? How can we help? Let's meet!" It was amazing to see the AISB community coming together and working towards a common goal. Teachers, specialists, parents, children, administrators joined forces in an attempt to organize classes, find available classrooms, find material and human resources. Emails started to bounce back and forth: from parents to teachers, from elementary teachers to high school teachers, from parents to parents, all offering information, dates, ideas, schedules etc. ...an avalanche of options!
The outcome? A strong vibrant community collaborating and exchanging ideas, people suggesting and donating books for the mother tongue library, children who eagerly await the end of the day, when they have one more hour of learning - in their mother tongue! The results of this amazing common effort were beyond expectations. Currently, the program serves children whose mother tongue is Spanish, Italian, Turkish, German, Dutch, Romanian, Hebrew, Russian, Swedish or French. At AISB all stakeholders knew that students learn more quickly and effectively if they maintain and develop their proficiency in the mother tongue. Now it is also known that developing this program has a positive impact on all members of a community!
It is exciting to know this project is in place, slowly getting a shape of its own, a place of its own at AISBucharest. Now this beginning is history; this project will continue to grow, and grow, and grow, as it offers their students yet another opportunity to engage in learning, preparing them to become successful global citizens. The wheels are turning and the only way to go is forward and farther!
Mother Tongue Program Coordinator
American International School of Bucharest