More students in NSW will have access to extra-curricular language and culture classes, thanks to a $5.5 million boost from the Liberals & Nationals.

The NSW Government’s Community Languages Schools Program provides grants to eligible not-for-profit community organisations to deliver culture programs to 37,500 students right across the State.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the Community Languages Schools Program has already had a profound impact on students from all backgrounds.

“The Community Languages Schools Program recognises the importance of children retaining the language and culture of their ancestry, and also encourages them to learn more about other cultures in their community,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Research shows that children who learn a second language show greater cognitive development in higher order thinking skills, which means their brain has acquired the capacity to think quickly and strategically, creating a solid foundation for their schooling years.

“The increase in demand for these programs to be rolled out in more locations across the State is no surprise at all.” Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti said the Community Languages Schools Program will also help children become more engaged members of their community.

“This program will contribute significantly to the social cohesion of our multicultural communities in NSW by promoting the importance of language and culture learning,” Mr Sidoti said. “It’s so crucial for our kids to respect and understand their own background, but it is equally as important for them to know about the other cultures that make NSW and Australia so rich and diverse.”