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Dual-language immersion program in Casper gets the green light

A dual-language immersion program will be tried in a Casper elementary school this fall. The Natrona County School Board voted to allow a pilot program where enrolled children will be taught in English for half the day and Mandarin for the other half.

Mark Peterson is one of the parents who’s been pushing for dual-language instruction. He says knowing a language like Mandarin is important, because of the opportunities for exporting Wyoming resources to China.

“Our energy products need to go somewhere where we can get a top dollar,” Peterson said. “And so to be able to conduct those multimillion dollar sales, we need to be able to speak Mandarin Chinese.”

Peterson says demand for the program is high, so many children are on the waiting list to get into the Mandarin program. He hopes to be able to expand the program to other schools and other languages in future years.

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