Queens library launches its first Korean language school

October 10, 2014
Kim Su-jin, left, and Queens Library Assistant Director of Fred Gitner.

Class teacher Kim Su-jin, left, and Queens Library Assistant Director of the New Americans Program & International Relations Fred Gitner.

A Queens library launched its first Korean language school Wednesday.

Kim Su-jin, a Korean Education Center in New York teacher, and Fred Gitner, assistant director of the New Americans Program & International Relations at Queens Library, are the two driving forces behind the project.

In celebration of the 568th anniversary of the creation of the Korean writing system, or hangeul, Kim held the first Korean class at the library’s McGoldrick branch Wednesday.

“My shoulders feel heavy knowing how important it is to make this Korean class into a happy and warm one for everyone in the region,” Kim said.

The class was started as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Korean Education Center and Queens Library.

Gitner said he’d like to continue to build a strong relationship with the Korean American community in New York. Gitner hopes to see more and more Korean language classes being offered.

Kim worked at a Manhattan fashion company for six years but volunteered at the education center as a Korean language teacher during weekends.

Last summer, she quit her job and begun work as a part-time Korean language teacher. For a former Korean teacher in Korea, it was a return to the blackboard.

“I wanted to do something that makes my heart race,” Kim said. “My biggest hope is that the Korean school here will develop students who go on to become assistant teachers and eventually teachers themselves.”

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