Placentino Elementary School is home to a French immersion program -- one of just two at the elementary level in Massachusetts -- and is a nominee for ACTFL's Melba D. Woodruff Award. The program was founded in 1979 and begins teaching French to students in kindergarten, expecting them to learn 2,000 French words in their first year. Some say early foreign language learning can help improve students' academic performance later on. "It's not what language we're teaching," the program's founding director said. "It's about what learning a language can do for a child."

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