Grants from the South Korean government will fund a Korean-language class at , according to an article in New America Media, an online collaboration of thousands of ethnic news organizations across the United States.
The class will be the second Korean-language program in the state and one of 60 the nation, according to the article.
South Korea awarded the grants to the San Ramon school because of the city’s growing Korean population, Rob Stockberger, San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s director of secondary education, told New America Media.
San Ramon's Asian community grew from 15 percent of the city's population in 2000 to 36 percent in 2010, .
The two-year class will be offered if enough students sign up, Stockberger said. The minimum attendance is 50.
Because most students have their schedules for the coming fall, the 29,000-student school district will have to advertise the new offering via email and on the district and school websites.
Dougherty Valley High will have to offer the program for two years if it gets the grants, according to New America Media.
The grant program is part of South Korea's effort to improve global relations, the article says:
“As South Korea becomes an increasingly globalized society, the government has made it a mission to reach out to various communities around the world to strengthen awareness of Korea’s language and customs, and to foster greater intercultural understanding through such exchanges,” said Sang Shin Han, vice president of the Korean Education Center in Los Angeles. The center draws funding from the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
"Relations between the United State and South Korea go back six decades, when America fought alongside South Korean and United Nations’ troops in a bloody three-year conflict against North Korean and Chinese forces.
"Washington still maintains a sizable military presence in the country, while trade ties between the two sides continue to deepen. Still, most Americans remain woefully ignorant about Korea, which has long been overshadowed in the American mind by China and Japan, and by memories of the Vietnam War.
"Sinok Kim, director of the Korean consulate’s education department in San Francisco, said the Korean government has offered a setup grant of $25,000 to $30,000 to schools willing to host a Korean-language program, depending on the size of the class. The government will then provide a maintenance grant of $6,000 the following year."
Dougherty Valley High offers Spanish and Chinese classes.