BARRINGTON – A group of Barrington 220 School District parents announced May 13 the formation of the Barrington Chinese Immersion Council.
While the council will work with and support the school district, it will be run independently and modeled after the Barrington Council for the Gifted and Talented, according to a council news release.
Council President Alex Bernardi of North Barrington said the council’s immediate goal is to support the families that are in the Chinese Immersion program, “both in and outside of the classroom, with advice, materials and experiences not covered by tax dollars.”
“We also want to offer cultural opportunities to benefit the greater Barrington community,” Bernardi said.
According to the release, the council is currently applying for its 501(c)(3) designation and hopes to have the process finalized before the end of 2014. Every parent of a current Barrington 220 Bridge to Chinese student received an email application for membership into the council earlier this year and donations have started to come in. Parents of future classes will receive an application upon entering the Chinese Immersion program. The council will fully start fundraising after receiving obtaining 501(c)(3) status.
Council board member Robert Windon of Barrington said the school district has been “incredible advocates” for Chinese Immersion children.
“We have seen how much this program has benefited our children and want to help the program grow to serve even more families,” Windon said.
The Bridge to Chinese program launched in the fall of 2011 with a kindergarten and first-grade class at Barbara Rose School. Then, Chinese Immersion kindergarten classes were added to Countryside School the following two years. The coming few years will see the implementation of the program into its third and final school, North Barrington School. Plus, the first students, who started in kindergarten, will be transitioning into middle school, as stated by the release.
According to the council, first-round funding will be used to supplement classroom materials to all sections. School officials will determine the needs of students. A website, www.bcic220.org, will launch before the start of the 2014-15 school year.