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Friends Seminary to Expand Its Multicultural Offerings With the Inclusion of Arabic into the Curriculum for Fall of 2008

June 21, 2008

Friends Seminary School

Autumn Adkins, 212-979-5035 ext. 193

Assistant Principal

Friends Seminary School, regarded as one of the country’s top private schools, today announced the addition of Arabic to its curriculum of languages being offered to its students beginning in the Fall 2008 semester.

Founded in 1786, Friends Seminary has consistently striven to be at the forefront in education, from its founding as a co-ed school when the education of girls was marginal to establishing New York’s first kindergarten to hiring the first mental health professional in a city private school. The addition of Arabic to the optional language curriculum is another step in the school’s continuous mission of preparing its students to grow and function successfully in an ever changing world.

Principal Robert (Bo) Lauder credits the School’s vision and Quaker heritage as the guiding principles that led to the decision to bring a non-Western language into the School’s curriculum. “I believe the choice of Arabic is bold and compelling, and that it will take its place in the School’s historic continuum of innovation,” says Principal Lauder. “I am thrilled that Friends Seminary will provide for its students a very unique and relevant educational opportunity through the Arabic program. We will be the only school among our peers offering a fully-integrated Arabic language curriculum at a time when Arabic is the fastest-growing language in US colleges and universities. And it is undeniable that Arabic language skills will be keenly important as the Middle East remains a center of geopolitical interest now and presumably well into the future.”

In developing the new Arabic language courses, Lauder noted that the school has hired new faculty expertise and partnered with Columbia University to support the development of the new class curriculum.

“This is all about the well-being of our students and our mission to prepare students not only for the world that is, but for the world that ought to be,” Lauder said.

About Friends Seminary

Friends Seminary, founded in 1786, is a co-educational private school with 670 students in grades Kindergarten to Grade 12, under the care of the New York Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. For more information, please contact Assistant Principal, Autumn Adkins, 212-979-5035 ext. 193, and log onto the Friends Seminary Web site: www.friendsseminary.org

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