Established in 1982, the Simon Award is conferred annually on an individual or group from outside the language teaching profession that meets a variety of criteria, including demonstrated leadership in the promotion of language learning and in the advancement of international understanding. The award is named for the late Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning.
The Center for the Study of Global Change received the award for its Bridges: Children, Languages, World project, which offers exploratory language and culture classes to young learners in Monroe County. The central goal of Bridges is to ignite interest in learning about different languages and cultures and inspire children to pursue both with excitement and enthusiasm all their lives. Bridges emphasizes less commonly taught languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Mongolian, Russian and Zulu, and programs are taught by IU undergraduates who are studying in these languages, providing practical teaching experience while developing language skills and cultural knowledge.
“While the Global Center coordinates this important initiative, it would not be able to do so without the collective effort of all its campus and community partners,” said Hilary Kahn, director of the Global Center. “Likewise, Bridges benefits both our campus and the community by creating engaging learning environments for young language learners in the community and for our undergraduates as well.”
The Global Center seeks to create a supportive environment for cutting-edge approaches to global teaching, learning and scholarship. Collaboration and innovation are central to the Global Center’s curricular, research and outreach programs. The primary objective of outreach for the Global Center is to serve as a resource base on international issues, to meet the needs of pre-K-12 teachers, post-secondary educators, business professionals, government officials, media representatives and the general public at local, state and national levels.
“I am pleased to hear that the Center for the Study of Global Change is being recognized with the Simon Award for its valuable work in language learning and international education,” said Larry Singell, executive dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. “The Global Center is expansive, offering a wide variety of academic programs, community outreach initiatives and professional development opportunities. Its focus on interdisciplinary global studies creates a strong foundation for collaboration among departments and centers in the School of Global and International Studies and across campus.”
The Center for the Study of Global Change is one of 11 federally funded Title VI area studies centers in the School of Global and International Studies at IU Bloomington. IU is home to more Title VI centers than any other university in the country. Currently, Bridges programs take place throughout the city of Bloomington.