Chicago, IL — November 4, 2020 —
For over 50 years, the DANK Haus has provided German language classes on Saturday for children of all ages as well as cultural events such as Fasching, Laternenfest and St. Martinstag.
The DANK Haus Kinderschule is part of the PASCH initiative ("Schools: Partners for the Future“) which is a global network of more than 2000 schools that maintains a close relationship to both, Germany and German language. Amidst our popular preschool, kindergarten and elementary school classes on Saturday, the demand for a weekday German immersion program became apparent in the previous year.
After several months of working with the Illinois State Board of Education, the DANK Haus Kinderschule is now formally registered as a nonpublic school in the state of Illinois. “The DANK Haus is honored with this news as it sets the framework for expanding our school to the upper grades while being a cost-effective option to our community,” states Monica Jirak, Executive Director DANK Haus German American Cultural Center.
he DANK Haus is happy to provide an alternative affordable option for our community and remains committed to COVID-19 regulations by following the strict guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois and Chicago Department of Public Health (IDPH & CPDH). “The health and safety of our students and our community is of utmost importance and a top priority, “ explains Danica Polanski, Language Program Director at the DANK Haus.
Polanski further highlights: “People are understanding that raising children bi- or multilingual builds a strong foundation for all learning. Speaking a second language improves memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, the ability to multitask, and better listening skills.”
The Kinderschule program is a German immersion program. It is a play- and project-based program where students have time for open play with the other children, along with structured projects that incorporate different themes of the seasons. The students work on seasonal or cultural projects during the year which will cover science, reading, mathematical concepts, music, art, and crafts. All of these activities take place in German.
The kindergarten and elementary school programs also prepare the students for first grade by offering Language Arts and Mathematics in English every day to ensure a smooth transition to first grade. All other subject areas take place in German to foster German bilinguals in the classrooms.
Our DANK Haus Kinderschule teachers have extensive teaching experience in early childhood and in teaching German as a second language. Their knowledge of child development fosters our students’ intrinsic motivation in all areas of academic and social emotional development to become a life-long learner!
“Being a registered school by the Illinois State Board of Education truly opens the doors for our transformation efforts at our school and we are thrilled for the future possibilities,“ states Polanski.