Burns Park World Language Initiative

funds language instruction at Burns Park

Language is Essential

Research shows that early language learning not only allows for development of skills in the language but also improves English language arts achievement.

Spanish up to 2nd Grade

Our community independently funds Spanish instruction for Young Fives, Kindergarden, First and Second grades. Ann Arbor Public Schools provides funding only for third, fourth and fifth graders.

Community Supported

We are a non-profit organization run by parents of Burns Park students who are working to fund language instruction at Burns Park Elementary School.

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Donations are tax-deductible.
Use your credit card online or mail a check.

Kids who learn a foreign language early find it easier to learn languages later.

They end up doing better in English language classes, too.

Native Spanish-speaking students feel more connected to the school.

Spanish education at Burns Park is fun — just ask any of the students how they like it, we dare you!

We need your help to make it happen.



Our program cannot continue without your support. Our fundraising goal is $20,000 for this year. The suggested donation per student is $80.

Reaching our goal means we can pay for another year of Spanish classes.

Contribute Today


We're looking for folks to join our board. Our meetings are short and fun. You do not need any experience with being on a board, Spanish, or fundraising. You only need an interest in helping Burns Park be the best school it can be.

Get In Touch

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this cost?

The cost for maintaining this program in the 2015-16 school year was about $20,000 or about $80 for each student being taught.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Probably. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Check with your tax preparer to be sure.

Who is the instructor?

Our instructor is Chelo Digon. Ms. Digon is a native of Spain who is completing her PhD in education and has written 6 books for children.

How are world languages funded after second grade?

Ann Arbor Public Schools have partnered with the University of Michigan School of Education to provide instruction in world languages to elementary students. The partnership offers Spanish language instruction to grades three through five in all AAPS elementary schools.

Providing Spanish instruction for our young fives, kindergarden, first and second graders will only increase the chance that they will reach our goal of language proficiency. Research shows that younger students are more receptive to the introduction of a second language and significantly more willing to use the language in a social setting than their older peers.

Who began this initiative?

BPWLI is a group of Burns Park parents who have been working since spring 2005 to bring foreign language instruction to Burns Park School. A survey of Burns Park families that summer showed strong backing for foreign language instruction in the elementary grades, and a 2015 followup survey confirmed continuing support. With the support of the school principal and teachers, we established a non-profit corporation to raise funds and hire a Spanish instructor.

Do you have a flexible payment plan?

Yes! You may pay in whole or in installments. If you are unable to donate at this time, please consider making a pledge.

Do you have a credit card option?

Yes! You can pay by credit card via PayPal through our contribution form (a PayPal account is not required).

If you have additional questions, please get in touch.


Yes, I want to support this high-quality enrichment program for all students at Burns Park Elementary

Your Contribution

Your Details

Employer Matching

We can help you fill out your matching form. If you'd like help, please send it to us at PO Box 1616, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

Burns Park World Language Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and all contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Our IRS letter certifying our 501(c)(3) public charity and our Michigan charitable solicitation license are available.

We need your help


Our meetings are short and fun. You do not need any experience with being on a board, Spanish, or fundraising. You only need an interest in helping Burns Park be the best school it can be.

In order to continue this initiative and provide ongoing Spanish instruction we need your help! We are seeking volunteers to help with fundraising, as well as volunteers with expertise in any of the following areas: grant writing, accounting/finance, legal, IT, nonprofit corporations and board stewardship. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer please get in touch.

Get In Touch

Questions? Comments?

We'd love to hear from you.

[email protected]

© Burns Park Foreign Language Initiative, Inc. All rights reserved.

BPFLI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity, and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Photo Credits: woodleywonderworks, Herald Post, Barcex, Rinaldo Wurglitsch, FJM88NL.