Community-based School Profiles

These profiles of community-based heritage language schools describe the key features of these schools and are an inspiration to all of us who are starting, sustaining, and building these schools. If you would like to write a profile of your school, write to Joy Peyton,


Cantonese School of Greater Washington 粵語文化學校

The Cantonese School of Greater Washington (CSGW), in Rockville, Maryland, provides a progressive and nurturing academic environment for students, ages 4 to 12, wishing to learn Cantonese and experience Chinese culture. CSGW is the only Cantonese school in the greater Washington, DC area.


German School of San Francisco

Founded in 1935, the German School of San Francisco (GSSF) is the oldest German language school in the San Francisco Bay Area. The GSSF is a Saturday school, a non-profit organization with the goal of teaching the language and culture of German-speaking countries. The school offers classes for all ages, with 108 students and 19 teachers and assistants. Learning takes place through various mediums -- by reading books, completing projects and art, singing songs, watching movies, and playing vocabulary-enriching games. A wide range of exams, both from Germany and the U.S., are completed at various levels by students each year with the ultimate goal being that students obtain the German Language Diploma Level II (DSD II).


Chicago Persian School

Founded in 2007, the Chicago Persian School offers in-person and online Persian language and arts classes to children (ages 2-17) and adults (18 and older). The school promotes the Persian language and culture by providing accessible, inclusive, and high-quality educational opportunities; creating relevant educational content; and forging community partnerships.

Iranian School of San Diego

Established in 1988, the Iranian School of San Diego (ISSD) proudly stands as one the first accredited Persian heritage language schools in the United States. Tasked with the mission of fostering a connection between Iranian and other Persian-speaking immigrants' descendants and their cultural roots, ISSD has successfully imparted Persian (Farsi) language literacy skills to thousands of youths and adult learners.


School of Serbian Language and Culture

The School of Serbian Language and Culture at the Serbian Cultural Center San Diego, a non-profit organization, was founded in January, 2019 by a group of enthusiasts wanting to provide a unique experience of learning the Serbian language and exploring Serbian culture. The school offers both in-person and virtual classes to Serbian-speaking immigrants and their descendants, and others interested in learning the language.


Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition Program

ISLA is an educational nonprofit organization in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to build community and leadership through educational Spanish language and cultural immersion programs. Since its founding in 2012, ISLA has grown to serve over 700 Hispanic/Latine students from ages 3-17, serves families from over 14 different Latin American countries, and provides over 800 hours of Spanish language and cultural immersion classes.

Published: Friday, October 6, 2023