Sung Chul Yang, the Republic of Korea's ambassador to the United States, presented to the Fairfax County School Board 1,600 books Thursday, Oct. 24. The books, which include information about Korea and the Korean culture, are written in Korean and English and will be made available for use in the school system's 239 schools and centers. Korean textbooks were also included in the donation.
The donation by the Republic of Korea is in response to a formal request by School Board member Tessie Wilson (Braddock) to provide books to Korean students in their native language while they learn English.
"Everyone agrees the ability to read is important to our children, especially for ESOL [English Speakers of Other Languages] students," Wilson said, accepting the gift. "It's important for children to continue to read, especially in their own language. Our libraries have mostly English books and few in the students' native languages, especially Korean."
In addition, Yang met with parents at Fairfax High School to support the Korean language program there and is working with the Fairfax County Public Schools staff to pursue other cultural exchange programs within the school system.