History is being made this fall, as Cleveland’s new international language immersion K-8 school opens this August!


GALA (Global Ambassadors Language Academy) is Northeast Ohio’s first foreign language immersion school – providing both Mandarin and Spanish immersion options – and the first Mandarin immersion school in the entire state of Ohio.

GALA is tuition-free and public, will enroll students from within and around Cleveland, and students do not need to have any prior language skills in Mandarin or Spanish to enroll. GALA is located on Cleveland’s west side at 13442 Lorain Avenue and is currently enrolling kindergarten and first grade students for the 2016-2017 school year. Interested families are invited to GALA’s upcoming open house on May 18th, June 9th and June 11th at 5:00 p.m. to learn more about attending the 2016 – 2017 school year, tour the school, and meet members of GALA’s staff.

To attend, RSVP at: https://GALAOpenHouseMay18.eventbrite.com

GALA’s innovative education model —one that blends dual language immersion (English, with Mandarin or Spanish) with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) framework, is an education model that has been successful across the U.S. and outside the country, and has not yet been available to students and parents in Northeast Ohio – until now. At GALA, students gain dual proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking by the end of third grade, through GALA’s foreign language immersion model. GALA provides instruction in all core subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies) primarily in the Target Language (Mandarin or Spanish) for 70% of the school day, and 30% of the day in English for grades K-2; 60% and 40% for grades 3-5; and 50% and 50% for grades 6-8.

Students at GALA will also receive an international education through GALA’s academic framework and curriculum, aligned to Ohio’s New Learning Standards within the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), which addresses the social, physical, emotional, cultural and academic development necessary to succeed in a rapidly globalizing world.

According to Rogers, “Immersion students outperform their non-immersion peers on standardized tests by the fourth grade.” As a student, “you’re constantly comparing, learning, relating, translating in your head, whether you know it or not. Never underestimate the first seven years of a child’s life. They’re little geniuses running around.”

GALA was founded by Meran Rogers, a native Clevelander and former employee of Global Cleveland – Director of Community Affairs. For Rogers, language learning has been a lifelong project. As a child of immigrant parents, her mother from Poland and father from Taiwan, her first language was a blend of four languages: Taiwanese, Mandarin, Polish, and broken English. It was not until the second grade that Rogers learned to read and write; eventually losing all of her language ability except for English. Later, after graduating from Case Western Reserve University, Meran became a third grade teacher at an English immersion school in Taiwan. Rogers wondered, ‘Why don’t we have this in Cleveland? Her experience growing up in Cleveland and as an immersion teacher in Taiwan is what has been the driving force for her to establish GALA for her own children and families in Cleveland.

Armed with her experience, a masters’ degree in nonprofit management and vast quantities of research, Rogers is working hard to bring language immersion to the Cleveland educational system. Global Cleveland wishes her the best! Learn more about GALA at: www.gala-prek8.org.