We are parents of a student who is enrolled in the Scenic Park Elementary Chinese Immersion program. We are highly disappointed to hear that immersion programs are being considered for discontinuation due to budget cuts. Our daughter has several friends in different immersion programs within the Anchorage School District who share her joy and enthusiasm for being an immersion student. Removal of these programs impacts our daughter, her peers, the families of the students, and the community.
As parents, we are concerned about the ethical and moral lessons removing immersion would teach our daughter and students in similar positions. By choosing to cut immersion programs based on budget, we would be teaching these students that their commitment does not matter. The quality time invested in going beyond the minimum education requirement does not matter. More importantly, we would teach them that cultural diversity and knowledge do not matter.
Cutting immersion programs would remove the cultural knowledge and awareness these programs provide. Even students outside of the immersion classrooms experience a level of cultural diversity within the neighborhood classrooms. The existence of an immersion program in a neighborhood school helps all students become more knowledgeable about cultural diversity and its prevalence in our community.
These bright young children are the future of this state and this country. We must teach them the importance of following through with commitments. We must guide them to be culturally aware of their own culture, as well as other cultures. These students will be required to understand the ethical and moral purposes that surround culture. The presence of cultural diversity in our schools is important to all students.
We urge the Anchorage community to support our immersion students. It is our duty as community members to support our youth. We are ethically obligated to educate this generation, and future generations, on the importance of cultural diversity.
—Danielle Igtanloc and Cody Morris
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