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MPS expanding Arabic program thanks to $68,000 grant from Qatar Foundation International

August 30, 2016
Dirk Tedmon
Media Relations Specialist
Minneapolis Public Schools expanding Arabic program thanks to $68,000 grant from Qatar Foundation International
MINNEAPOLIS – With support from the Qatar Foundation International, LLC (QFI), Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will expand its Arabic language programming and create an additional pathway for Arabic instruction at Washburn High School. MPS is the only district in the metro area that offers Arabic from elementary to high school.
As one of the most diverse districts in Minnesota, MPS serves many students with close cultural ties to Arab countries and language. In fact, the district’s first Arabic program began at Roosevelt High School more than 15 years ago. Today, it is also offered at Lyndale Elementary, Sanford Middle, Ramsey Middle, South High, Wellstone High and Heritage Academy.
MPS strives to prepare all students to be multilingual, culturally competent, respectful and responsible citizens of an interconnected world. The $68,305 grant from QFI will help ensure students have access to a  global education through a comprehensive and rigorous Arabic curriculum.
“Minneapolis Public Schools believes in providing an urban education that prepares students to be global citizens,” said Superintendent Ed Graff. “Thanks to this partnership, our students will have even more opportunities to learn important languages useful for both college and career.”
QFI Executive Director Maggie Mitchell Salem also applauded the partnership, saying, “QFI partners with school districts across the U.S. to advance Arabic language learning and the understanding of Arab culture to develop global competency and critical 21st-century skills that young Americans need to compete. We are excited to see these pivotal programs grow in Minneapolis and Tucson and to connect educators, learners and communities in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, U.K. and Qatar.”
Approximately 12,000 MPS students are currently enrolled in a world language course of study. Students can elect to learn:  American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dakota, French, German, Hmong, Japanese, Latin, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish.
For additional information about MPS’ language programs, visit multilingual.mpls.k12.mn.us. To learn more about Qatar Foundation International, visit www.qfi.org.
About Minneapolis Public Schools
In the heart of Minneapolis lies a diverse, urban school district committed to promoting learning and accelerating student outcomes for more than 35,000 students in more than 70 schools. Every day, nearly 7,300 devoted staff members help students prepare to graduate college and career ready. More than 100 languages are spoken by MPS students. 
About Qatar Foundation International
Qatar Foundation International (QFI), LLC, is a U.S.-based member of Qatar Foundation (QF). QFI is both a grant-making organization and a convener of thought leaders on issues related to global and international education, open education and education technologies as they intersect with the three core QFI programmatic areas: Arabic language and Arab culture, STE{A}M (STEM plus the Arts), and Youth Engagement.
QFI inspires meaningful connections to the Arab world by creating a global community of diverse learners and educators and connecting them through effective and collaborative learning environments — inside and outside the classroom.
Through our activities, QFI is committed to providing K-12 students in Qatar and the Americas with the intellectual, communicative, and cultural competencies that will enable them to be engaged global citizens.