What is the Golestan Colab?
Golestan was the first daily Persian language immersion school in the United States. With the hope to help other communities start similar programs, Golestan made it its mission to support other communities at whatever level possible. From financial modeling to teacher training to lesson planning, the organization established itself with the culture of sharing and collaboration.
In the seven years of Golestan’s existence in its current form, we have received countless requests to share materials and resources to assistance starting from the ground up. The organization feels strongly about helping other communities, and developed the Colab in order to provide support and expertise to all families and educators interested in receiving support for raising bicultural children.
As the school’s pedagogy evolved, we were surprised to receive many requests for consultation from educators outside of the language immersion world. As a result, the Colab’s mission has expanded to help all educators promote and incorporate experiential and positive teaching methodologies.
Golestan Colab Mission:
The Golestan Colab empowers and supports educators, parents, and community leaders to create their ideal learning environment for children by offering consultancy and resources in the following areas: 1) the integration and application of hands-on and experiential learning practices and approaches 2) language immersion and cultural education.
“With their support and constant guidance, my sister and I have launched our very own daily Persian immersion preschool and the response from our community has been rewarding, inspiring and beyond our wildest imagination. What Golestan has inspired is not just a language immersion program, but a movement, and a way of life; one that respects nature, promotes empathy and kindness, and above all, an affinity for our rich, and beautiful Iranian language and heritage. “
- Baleen Bahmanian Shemirani, Co-founder Boostan Kids Persian Immersion preschool, San Mateo CA.
What Golestan Colab offers:
The Colab produces teaching materials modeled after its curriculum. It researches best practices in bilingualism and child development and offers pro bono consulting to individuals and schools either wanting to enhance their language immersion programs or develop experiential programs for children.
- Support for other communities that currently have or are in need of similar programs for children including advice, shared resources, and curricula – this includes consulting and onsite visits.
- The Golestan Collective works with other language immersion programs nationwide (including Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese, Ethiopian, Japanese, etc) for developing best teaching practices and shared resources. This includes workshops and film screenings.
- Teaching materials, including audiobooks (first one released March 2013), books, and digital curricula.
- A private portal which gives access to resources and the many materials we have developed for our Colab. Educators can register here. It will take 24 hours for your request to be approved. Once approved you will receive a notification email and be given access to all our resources on our private site.
- Online resource (in development) for families with articles and tips related to child development, education, and bilingualism. This includes recommended resources, books, audio books, and CDs. These resources are intended to support parents and educators in general, and to help them create an environment that promotes their efforts in raising bilingual children.
Communities we have worked with:
- Communities that have worked with the Colab to develop (or have developed) Persian immersion schools include: Toronto, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Irvine, Chicago, New York City and the Bay Area communities of Walnut Creek, San Mateo, Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Marin County.
- The Colab has also worked with other communities including American, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German, Russian, Ethiopian, Jewish, Armenian, Chinese, Spanish, Arab, Indian, and Afghan communities have also used our school as a model for their own emerging schools.
- In the past year, the Colab has been working with communities in underdeveloped countries to build schools for orphans and underprivileged children. These communities include Nepal, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and Iran. To see pictures of our project in Nepal, click here.
One of the Colab’s latest collaborations is with the Charlie Cart Project. The Charlie cart project is designed to support and simplify nutrition education in schools. It consists of a compact mobile kitchen with lessons & training designed to get kids cooking in the classroom. The Colab is involved in the curriculum development of the program, including piloting the lesson plans and recipes with the students at Golestan. To learn more about the Charlie Cart Project vist their website here.
Below is a list of schools that are currently active in the Golestan Collective bi-monthly virtual meetings:
- Seattle, WA: Persian Preschool (www.PersianPreschool.com)
- Marin County, CA: Shadi Kids (www.ShadiKids.com)
- San Mateo, CA: Boostan Kids (www.BoostanKids.com)
- Walnut Creek, CA: Borna School (www.bornach.com)
- Mountain View, CA: Baharestan Kids (www.baharestankids.com)
- Menlo Park, CA: U ME (www.u-meplace.com/koodak/)
- Irvine, CA: Bahar Kids (In development)
- New Canaan, CT: Iran Doost (email@example.com)
- Newly Launched!! Toronto, Canada: Ferdows Kids ( www.ferdowskids.com/ )
“What is amazing is their generosity in giving advice and sharing all their experiences with other emerging Schools, concentrating on the education of bicultural children, including their progressive curriculum. During my 2-day visit to the school, I was warmly greeted by both the director of the program and all the teachers at Golestan. Apart from observing their wonderful classes, I had a chance to have several thought provoking engaging conversations, through which I gained much insight and help in further improving my own work in teaching bicultural children.
I found this invaluable collaborative spirit, so encouraging and inspiring, and I’m sure it will eventually give rise to many more remarkable language immersion programs. Golestan is indeed an inspiration for other language immersion programs all across the country.”
Aitak Azhang, Founder Yekibood Children, NYC/CT/VA