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Utah State Board of Education is pleased to announce the first Russian DLI school, opening in the 2017-2018 school year. Overlake Elementary, located in Tooele County School District, is enrolling the first cohort of Russian DLI students entering 1st grade. One of the goals of the state DLI program is to develop students who are biliterate, bilingual, and bicultural as they learn and develop skills in other content areas. Research shows students enrolled in state DLI programs do as well as or better than students who are not enrolled in the DLI program. Russian has been identified as a critical language by the Department of Defense, and receives additional funding to support teachers and student programs through STARTALK grants. More than 270 million people speak Russian world-wide, and the Russian economy is ranked in the top ten for entrepreneurship. Salt Lake City is home to more than 30,000 Russian speakers and Utah cities enjoy several Sister City connections with Russian cities.