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Founded in 1996 as a non-profit, community-based organization, Shuang Wen Academy Network (SWAN), proposed to the New York City Department of Education the Shuang Wen School, which was later established in 1998 as a New York City public school. The long term vision for the students it works with is to prepare them in both English and Mandarin, American and Chinese cultures, in order that they may participate fully in an increasingly relevant global environment. SWAN's After-School and Summer Programs, one of New York City's largest, have been providing a Mandarin Language and Chinese Culture Program in support of the Shuang Wen School's dual language/dual culture mission. Over the past 12 years, Shuang Wen School, incorporating the programs provided by SWAN, has achieved impressive accomplishments, which earned the school an outstanding reputation at the city, state and national levels as a Blue Ribbon School. The school is also featured in New York City's Best Public Elementary Schools and New York City's Best Public Middle Schools (Vanessa Witenko, Richard Yeh, May 2007).