WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Susan Collins R-Maine, have announced $119,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education that will allow Mainers to participate in international education programs in China.

The grants were awarded under the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. The amount of $55,000 has been awarded to the Council on International Educational Exchange and $64,000 has been awarded to the University of Maine at Farmington.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Mainers to study Chinese language and culture in China and to bring that knowledge back home to share with other teachers and students,” said Snowe and Collins.

The Fulbright-Hays program supports overseas projects in training, research and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development or group research or study. The competition will support advanced overseas intensive language projects.

The funding awarded to the University of Maine at Farmington will be used to implement a four-week summer curriculum development team project in China.

The purpose is to provide opportunities for practicing kindergarten to grade 12 teachers from SAD 21 and the faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington to develop and enhance their understanding of the Chinese language and culture through first-hand experience; develop curriculum content and teaching units to integrate international studies into their classrooms; permit participants to acquire resource materials for curriculum development and for local dissemination; and to forge ties between faculties and teachers for future collaborations.

The funding awarded to the Council on International Educational Exchange in Portland will fund scholarships for advanced language training in each of the council’s four study centers in mainland China and Taiwan.

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