Lighthouse Chinese Language & Culture

Through a grant from the US Department of Education, Cape implemented the Lighthouse Chinese Program from 2007 - 2010.  It was the first such public school program in Delaware and one of a small but growing number in the United States.  Students in kindergarten through fifth grade learned about the world's most enduring civilization as they learned the world's most widely spoken language!  Chinese continues to be offered to Cape students through the Cape Carousel after-school enrichment program, as well as through a two-week StarTalk summer program.

The US Department of Education awarded the Cape Henlopen School District a Foreign Language Assistance Program grant to help fund the Lighthouse Chinese Program.  The federal funding is a component of the National Security Language Initiative, which "aims to boost the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Farsi, and others through new and expanded programs from kindergarten through university and into the workforce. To do that, the initiative will help develop teachers in those languages and encourage students to study critical foreign languages." (USDOE press release). In alignment with the District's mission, the Lighthouse Chinese Program has helped equip Cape students with the 21st century global competencies they will need for a bright future in an ever-changing world.


The artwork above was made by students at You Fu West Street Primary School in Nanjing, China and at Chen Jinglun Middle School in Beijing, China.  You can see these pieces on display at Rehoboth, Shields, Milton, and H.O. Brittingham Elementary Schools.

In the News

"Can this whale fly? Children take a dip in total-immersion Chinese" (Cape Gazette, August 10, 2010)

"Schools Stop Teaching Foreign Languages--Except Chinese" (The New York Times, January 21, 2010)

"Chinese instruction skyrockets 38 N.J. districts now teaching critical language" (The Star Ledger, May 3, 2009)

"Early Launch for Language: Young Children Have Advantage, but Linguists Say Lessons Benefit All" (Washington Post, February 2009)

"Milton Elementary Celebrates Chinese New Year" (February 2009)

"More schools teaching Chinese: Schools emphasizing language skills" (Cincinnati Enquirer, November 2008)

"First graders in Crescent (Oklahoma) learn how to speak Chinese" (The Oklahoman, November 2008)

"Chinese is fastest growing language in U.S. schools" (St. Petersburg Times, October 2008)

"Finding Our Way with Words" (NEA Today, October 2008)

"Kindergarteners Urged to Learn Key Languages" (Associated Press, July 2008)

"You have 7 years to learn Mandarin" (Fortune Magazine, April 2008)

"Milton teacher is speaking Chinese" (Delaware Coast Press, March 2008)

"Carper commends Chinese language students at Milton Elementary School" (Cape Gazette, January 2008)

"As China booms, so does Mandarin in US schools" (USA Today, November 2007)

"DOE deputy applauds Cape's international studies program" (Cape Gazette, November 2007)

"Programs draw right kind of attention" (Delaware Coast Press, November 2007)

"Chinese language takes off" (NBC Nightly News, October 2007)

"State official says Cape students can't lose by studying Chinese." (Cape Gazette, September 2007)

"Cape school district wins major grant to teach Chinese" (Cape Gazette, September 2007)

"Two schools offering Chinese classes" (The News Journal, June 2007)

"Year of the Chinese Language" (Scholatic Administrator, August 2007)