Introducing #LoveBarrington | Barrington 220 Chinese Immersion Program Kicks Off List of Favorite Things

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How do we love thee, Barrington? Help us count the ways! We’re kicking off a new series this Valentine’s Day week called #LoveBarrington. We’re inviting readers (that’s YOU!) to share favorite things about living here in the Barrington area so stay tuned for new additions to the list.

We’re starting things off with a piece written by Barrington mom-of-two and 1996 BHS graduate, Casey Handal Kozlowski. Casey says one of the things she loves most about our community is the Barrington 220 School District’s “Bridge to Chinese” language immersion program. Her 2nd grade daughter, Payton, has been part of the program since Kindergarten and she plans to enroll her youngest daughter this fall. Here’s what Casey loves about the Chinese Immersion program, in her own words…

Bridge to Chinese in Barrington 220

by Casey Handal Kozlowski, Barrington Resident & Mother-of-two

One of the things that makes Barrington Schools unique is our Chinese Immersion program. The program began in 2011, and currently has over 160 students participating in grades K-6 in 5 Barrrington 220 schools. The program uses a 50/50 model, which means half of the day is taught in Chinese and the other half in English. The goal of the program is to develop pre-advanced speakers of Mandarin Chinese by graduation from Barrington High School. Parents of children in the program are not required to know or learn Mandarin, and the vast majority of parents can’t say anything past “Ni hao” or “hello!”

The Barrington Chinese Immersion Council (BCIC) is a great resource for parents with children in the Chinese Immersion program. BCIC is a parent-led organization (like a PTO), who’s main purpose is to support the Chinese Immersion program. BCIC also coordinates cultural events for the community, such as Chinese Acrobat & Dance performances, or marching in the Chinese New Year parade downtown. More information on BCIC can be found at

Families with incoming Kindergarteners who want to learn more about the program are encouraged to come to the information session at the Early Learning Center (40 E. Dundee Road) on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 7pm.

Click here for more information about the CI program at and read on for student perspectives…

Olivia | Age 11 | 6th Grade | Station Middle School

Olivia was part of the very 1st cohort for the CI program, and started learning Chinese in 1st grade. She attended Barbara Rose Elementary school.

What is your favorite thing about learning Chinese?
My favorite thing about learning Chinese is learning about a new culture and being able to speak a language that most people can’t at such an early age. It is fun when other Mandarin speakers realize that I can speak to them.

What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school is science. I love science and want to become a meteorologist. I know a lot about the weather and it is fascinating to me.

Do you participate in any activities outside of school?
Yes! Soccer, Football, Cello, Model rocket club and Ski Club.

Payton | Age 7 | 2nd Grade | North Barrington Elementary

Payton has been in Barrington District 220’s Chinese Immersion (CI) Program since Kindergarten.

What is your favorite thing about learning Chinese?
I like singing Chinese songs.

Does anyone else in your family speak Chinese?
Only me, but my little sister can count to 10 in Chinese!

What is your favorite subject in school?
Math & Recess

Do you participate in any activities outside of school?
Cheerleading, Gymnastics, & Barrington Children’s Choir

Formed in 1973, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 educates over 9,000 students at one high school, two middle schools (grades 6-8), eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. District 220 encompasses 72 square miles in 4 counties and covers 12 villages: all of Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes; and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Port Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, North Barrington, and South Barrington. Learn more at

Why do YOU #LoveBarrington? Share your thoughts – specifically or in general – via the form below and we’ll help spread the word at

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