Washington residents may not know it, but they helped provide instruction in French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and 27 other languages to all District 51 students.



Dr. Paul Kinsinger, a Washington resident, District 51 board member and the creator of Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste, along with Washington Community Bank, recently donated Rosetta Stone software to Washington School District 51, which includes Central Primary and Central Intermediate schools.


Washington residents may not know it, but they helped provide instruction in French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and 27 other languages to all District 51 students.

Dr. Paul Kinsinger, a Washington resident, District 51 board member and the creator of Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste, along with Washington Community Bank, recently donated Rosetta Stone software to Washington School District 51, which includes Central Primary and Central Intermediate schools.

But, Kinsinger is adamant that although the funds came from his new business, Washington residents are the ones to thank for the rich language instruction 1,067 students will now be able to access.

“I’ve sold 1,300 tubes of Piggy Paste in Washington. Washington people are basically paying for it themselves,” he said.
Rosetta Stone is a server and web-based interactive language software that rejects two traditional cornerstones of language learning: tedious translation and learning grammar rules.

Instead, the instruction presents real-life situations that simulate the natural acquisition of a first language.

“There are no grades; there’s just enrichment because the pressure is off. It’s really fun software,” Kinsinger said.
District 51 Superintendent Dr. Chad Allaman said adding language instruction to the district’s curriculum has been a high priority since a strategic planning initiative in 2008. The district’s financial situation, however, kept it from achieving that goal.

Using Rosetta Stone instead of adding foreign language teachers was always an attractive option, Allaman said.

“One thing we looked at with a teacher is that we could reach about 100 students for about $40,000 for someone with no experience. With the software, we can reach all of our students for quite a bit less,” he said.

According to Allaman, the initial cost of the software was $23,000. There will also be an annual license fee of $10,000. Washington Community Bank and Kinsinger have committed to paying the annual fee for the next five years.

This fee includes the server-based system for Central Primary School, which includes kindergarten through third grade. These students will only have access to Spanish instruction.

Students in grades four through eight will have access to the web-based software, which includes all 39 languages and can be accessed 24 hours a day on any computer with an Internet connection.

All students, however, are required to pass five levels of Spanish before they can choose a different language to study.

“Spanish will be the dominant foreign language spoken in our region of the world. We felt in order to have a real advantage in the workforce, Spanish would be the most important foreign language for all students to learn first,” Allaman explained.

To begin with, students will have about 50 minutes in the computer lab with the software per week.

Because of the time it takes to complete each level and pass a proficiency test, Allaman said older students may not be able to move on past Spanish before graduating.

The real benefit, he said, will be seen in the younger students.

“The reason we are so excited about Rosetta Stone is we can get it to the younger students. Our brains are wired to learn a language best when we’re in preschool. It becomes more difficult the older we get,” Allaman said. “We feel very fortunate to offer this opportunity to the students.”