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Western MA Charter School Producing Future Global Leaders (Sept. 20, 2016)

Chinese Immersion Model Benefits All Students





Hadley, Mass—September 20, 2016—Across the world, the importance of learning Chinese and appreciating the Chinese culture is being touted as the key to understanding the world’s second largest economy and rising superpower. The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS) in Hadley is working to ensure western Massachusetts students also have the opportunity to become global leaders and potentially tap into China’s vibrant business landscape.


PVCICS serves students in grades K-12 and offers an innovative, language immersion program. As kindergarteners, they spend 75% of their school day being taught in Mandarin Chinese; by the time they get into the middle grades, 25% of the day is spent speaking Chinese with a larger share of teaching in English. This allows students to acquire the language naturally, and to become proficient, and even fluent, by a very young age.


“We founded our school confident in the knowledge that we could graduate students who are bilingual and biliterate in English and Mandarin Chinese,” said Richard Alcorn, executive director of PVCICS.  “We know our students are being challenged through learning Mandarin.  Our rigorous curriculum has incredible benefits which go farther than just learning the language.  The immersion model allows students to master cultural skills that will enable them to pursue a career working alongside Chinese businesses, should they choose to do so.”


Global thinkers recognize the importance of preparing students for future careers associated with working alongside China. Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group, recently welcomed the inaugural class of his Schwarzman Scholars to Tsinghua University in Beijing. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, the program is designed to train the next generation of global leaders while emphasizing immersion in Chinese culture, business and politics. Earlier this month the British government announced it will invest millions of pounds to ensure some 5,000 public school students are fluent in Mandarin by 2020.


In Hadley, PVCICS principal Kathleen Wang recognizes the need for students to gain real understanding of Chinese culture and language, while also achieving academic excellence. “We are proud to once again to be among the top performing public schools in the state for the 2015-2016 school year.  We believe our students excel because they learn two languages using an innovative immersion model.  It truly helps students from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds rise to the top.”


For more information or to schedule a visit to PVCICS, please contact:

Darcie Fisher

Ellis Strategies, Inc. | 774-281-3506


About the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School

Chartered by the Massachusetts Department of Education in 2007, the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS) is a tuition-free, regional K-12 public charter school in Hadley, Massachusetts, that prepares students for academic and personal success through rigorous study in English and Mandarin Chinese. The school's goal is to graduate students with excellent scholarship, high proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and English, and sensitivity to multiple cultures. PVCICS is an International Baccalaureate World School offering the IB Diploma Programme.