The preponderance of the English language in American society means that much of the population will never speak any other language. This puts the English-only speaker at a disadvantage when traveling in other countries or in any situation involving multiple cultures. Colorado State University is an example of a multi-cultural university that prides itself on its diversity and visitors are likely to hear any number of languages being spoken anywhere on campus. At the Global Village Academy, located at Taft and Horsetooth Road, this issue is being addressed from kindergarten through the eighth grade.
Principal Julie Rossi and Board of Directors President Holly Thompson expounded on why Fort Collins needs a multi-lingual school. Fort Collins itself is multi-cultural, mostly because of the university but also because a large part of the local population speaks Spanish as its principal language. The school serves a global clientele. Many of the parents are employed at CSU and some come from overseas. Each language program is referred to as a “village,” and each program is showcased throughout the year with performances, plays, music and food.
One of six of such charter schools in Colorado, the Global Village Academy offers a standard curriculum with an emphasis on language immersion. Local students can learn Spanish, French and Mandarin, while students from other countries can learn English. While the students will focus on one or another of these four languages, the school leaders said they also will benefit from the proximity to the others, becoming familiar with and possibly learning some of them also.
As with other charter schools, The Global Village Academy provides transportation, and employees must travel to transport the students. Rossi praises her staff for their dedication, as both local and foreign teachers work hard to make the programs creative as well as educational. She assures that Colorado standards are met and that the tests are the same as in public schools.
This school is free and is state funded, but not at the same rate as traditional state schools. It must hold fundraisers throughout the year to make up the difference. It is not a part of the Poudre School District.
Additional programs include the Encore program for after school. These are paid instructors and the programs include Science Matters, soccer, Tai Qwan do, violin, guitar and yoga. The school also accommodates working parents with a before- and after-school Base Camp program, beginning at 6 a.m. and ending 6 p.m.
Anyone considering an alternative school may enquire at any time. The Global Village Academy will take new students throughout the year, depending on class size.
Get more information at https://www.gvaschools.org
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