My name is Fred Wooten and I have a son going into fourth grade at the St. Louis Language Immersion School – The Chinese School. He’s been there since Kindergarten.
I chose this charter school for the future advantages my son will have as far as the global economy and the Chinese influence all over the world. He’s going to have a real advantage since not many people can both speak and write Mandarin.
In just the fourth grade my son is able to speak fluently and write to perfection. He knows 200 characters already and is writing essays. Because he is so advanced they group him with fifth graders for his Mandarin class. Part of his success can be attributed to his piano classes. Music and language go hand-in-hand because music trains the ear to pick up the different tones in the Mandarin language. My son actually speaks better Mandarin than children at the private Chinese school. He’s been told he has a perfect tone. He’s very well spoken and not in just Chinese. I think his ability to master Mandarin has made English that much easier for him.
Besides his growth with the language, he has an amazing ability to make friends when he goes different places because he’s exposed to so many other nationalities at school. He’s his own individual and doesn’t feel the need to follow the crowd.
His school has excellent teachers. They are very well hand-picked and professional. They hold high expectations of the children and teach them a strong work ethic. They emphasize homework, attendance, and courtesy and respect for each other. In addition to outstanding teaching, the discipline is totally under control. You don’t have to worry about someone bullying your child. It’s also a very loving environment. Teachers hug the children and the children hug each other.
I hope charters are around long enough to allow SLLIS to expand into high school. This lawsuit makes no sense. It seems to me that if charters are public schools then it looks like SLPS is actually suing themselves. The NAACP is unbelievable since the lawsuit is negatively affecting the population they are supposed to be protecting. It’s just an atrocity and I no longer have respect for that organization. The only people you hurt with this lawsuit are the children that are receiving this amazing opportunity and have a bright future.