A Timeline of QFI’s Partnership with Washington Latin Public Charter School
Qatar Foundation International (QFI) has had a long and strong presence in the DC community establishing its flagship Arabic program with Washington Latin Public Charter School (WLPCS) in 2009, the first of its kind in DC public and public charter schools. Stemming from QFI’s Arabic Language and Arab Culture initiative, the program takes a systematic and comprehensive approach to studying Arabic and learning about Middle Eastern culture and history.
Exchange to Doha
VCU Qatar Day
WLPCS joined QFI’s first cultural exchange to Doha, Qatar, for a week spent touring cultural sites in Qatar and meeting local students.
Students participated for the first time with QFI in the VCU Qatar Day event held at the Virginia campus. Since, WLPCS joins QFI each year to host a table and talk to VCU students about the importance of Arabic and show them how to write their name with QFI's wheel of letters, Madar Al-Huruf.
Teacher PD Exchange Teachers from Boston Arts Academy and Washington Latin Public Charter School headed to Doha to visit schools, the Musab Bin Omair Secondary Independent School for Boys and the Qatar Secondary Independent School for Girls, and lead a professional development session at Discover Education City Qatar.
Summer of Science and Service
This timeline illustrates how the program at Washington Latin is a prime example of Qatar’s support for quality educational programs in underserved communities. Such programs also connect young Americans with their peers in Qatar, providing young Qataris with the opportunity to share their culture and traditions, collaborate on science and technology activities, and lead service learning projects.
Thirty students and teachers from Boston Arts Academy in Boston, MA and Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, DC welcomed peers from four independent schools in Qatar for a “Summer of Science and Service Program”, sponsored by QFI and coordinated by the Meridian International Center.
Arabic School Grant Through QFI funding, WLPCS started the first after school Arabic program in the DC area.
Arabic Expansion The Arabic class added an additional level to the after school program
Arabic Summer Institute WLPCS Arabic language teachers participated in QFI's annual Arabic Summer Institute, which brings together new and experienced teachers from QFI’s Arabic school programs across the United States to share ideas and best practices in teaching Arabic as a foreign language. WLPCS teachers have joined QFI’s institute every year since 2010.
ACTFL Convention QFI sponsored the attendance of WLPCS teachers to the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages annual convention and expo, where they also participate in QFI teacher trainings. Through QFI's support, WLPCS teachers have attended ACTFL every year since 2011.
Reef to Rainforest WLPCS students joined peers hailing from Qatar, Brazil and throughout the US to participate in QFI’s YALLAH: Reef to Rainforest environmental exchange in Costa Rica. QFI teamed up with National Geographic Photo Camp to lead a media camp for the students during the trip.
Model Arab League QFI students from WLPCS participated in the National Council on US Arab Relations’ 16th Annual Model Arab League (MAL) where they represented the State of Qatar. In addition to learning about the politics and history of the Arab world, students practiced the art of public speech and diplomacy.
Through a QFI Community Service Grant, members of Washington Latin’s Environmental Club broke ground on the foundation of an outdoor project to build three raised gardens and install a new set of hydroponic indoor gardens.
Arabic Expansion WLPCS moved into a new school building with a dedicated Arabic classroom. QFI provided funding for the classroom’s renovation and decoration with cultural realia. The Arabic program expanded to three levels of Arabic (Arabic 1, 2, and 3) with 47 students enrolled, spanning the grades of 8 to 12.
WLPCS students attended the National Service Learning Conference, hosted by QFI. Students tackled tough issues requiring change and explored and created projects to address their communities' needs. Washington Latin students also presented on their hydroponic gardens project and inspired a school in Qatar, Musab Bin Omair SIS, to grow their own.
Students participated in QFI’s Peers Educating Peers exchange at the Doha Institute in Qatar. Students from WLPCS and BAA came together with Qatari students to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
Students participated in a live webcast, “Trash Travels” to discuss environmental issues as part of QFI’s and Global Nomads Group’s Road To Doha student virtual exchange program.
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Peers Educating Peers
Road To Doha
The Arabic program transitioned to an in-school class and became credit bearing. A QFI grant was awarded to start an additional class, “The History of Jerusalem.”
The first WLPCS graduate with advanced Arabic, Tim Hursen, is awarded the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship (SJT). The president of George Washington University, the director of admissions, and the GWU mascot arrived to Tim’s honors humanities class to announce that he was one of 8 recipients of the award that covers the entire cost of his education at GWU.
WLPCS Expansion As part of ongoing community support, QFI provided funding to the WLPCS Faculty Fund in Summer 2016.
Arabic Study Abroad
The Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) and QFI partnered for a summer intensive Arabic study abroad program for US high school students in Doha, Qatar. Ten US high school students were selected to participate and WLPCS student, Vanessa Rodriguez, was one of the few selected.
WLPCS Students connected with Al Wakra Independent School for Boys in Qatar over the course of nine months to discuss hydroponic gardens and environmental stewardship. At Washington Latin, students launched a "recycling reeducation" program, and at Al Wakra, the classroom invited other schools to teach them how to grow their own hydroponic gardens. As a result, both teachers are currently writing a curriculum for future virtual exchange programs.
Arabic K-16 Forum Alexander Porcelli, WLPCS Arabic teacher, presented on incorporating culture in the Arabic language classroom at QFI's inaugural Arabic K-16 Forum.
Basmatna Exchange World Refugee Day On World Refugee Day, a group of twelve students from Qatar joined WLPCS students in Washington, DC to participate in a series of activities and meetings that ranged from discussing refugee issues to a UNHCR event at the Kennedy Center with Khaled Hosseini, author and a UNHCR Goodwill Envoy.
Robotics Workshop Students from WLPCS were selected to participate in the QFI-sponsored Robotics workshop at Lindblom High School in Chicago.
Johns Hopkins MUN Washington Latin students were one of only three DC schools chosen to participate at Johns Hopkins MUN.
In partnership with the Global Nomads Group, QFI organized a virtual exchange program, Basmatna. WLPCS students joined Syrian, American, and Qatari youth to connect in two live interactive virtual conferences, where they learned about each other’s lives, shared experiences that go beyond media stereotypes, and explored the impact of the Syrian crisis.
Refugee Story Circle Virtual Exchange Environmental Club students at WLPCS and students at Al Resala in Doha, Qatar, came together for another QFI Road To Doha webcast to discuss the future of food security.
QatarDebate Exchange WLPCS students were selected to participate in QFI’s annual debate exchange, the Global Youth For Teledebates (GYFT), in partnership with QatarDebate. Student finalists traveled to Doha, Qatar, to participate in an international, cross-cultural debate with Qatari peers, as well as experience Qatar’s most exciting historic and cultural attractions. The students also presented on their hydroponic planters at Al-Bayan Education Complex for Girls.
WLCPS students participated in QFI’s Refugee Story Circle 2.0 with over 60 students from across the US, Qatar, and Brazil. The stories of resettled Iraqi refugees were depicted in the form of “digital stories,” and live discussions. The students collaborated to develop a digital art magazine based on what they learned titled, “Hurriyah.”
Third SJT Scholarship Nathan Hanshew became the third QFI Arabic student from WLPCS to receive a SJT Scholarship to GWU! He joins QFI All Stars Tim Hursen and #ISpeakArabic ambassador Coumba Gueye, who received the SJT Scholarship in 2015.
Qatar National Day Students of Arabic from BAA, WLPCS and E.L. Haynes PCS – all schools with QFI-supported Arabic Language and Culture (ALC) Programs – were invited to attend and greet guests at the annual Qatar National Day celebration with Embassy of Qatar. Latin students have joined the celebrations for Qatar National Day celebrations each year since.
Arabic Expansion WLPCS added a second Arabic teacher in response to increased student enrollment. In Fall 2016, they made it a full-time position.
Pre-WISE Rountdtable Arabic teacher, Alexander Porcelli, participated in the QFI pre-WISE roundtable in Doha, which brought together Arabic teachers at the K-16 levels from the US, Canada, the UK, Doha, and Brazil to discuss supporting the transition from high school to college-level Arabic.
Identity and Arabic QFI hosted Syrian-American rap artist Omar Offendum to join the Arabic class for a discussion on identity and Arab music.