A program designed to encourage kids to learn a second language has had what state officials call a successful first year in Missouri. Missouri this year became the 28th state in the country to offer the Seal of Biliteracy to school districts. In addition to encouraging students to study a second language and culture, the program also encourages non-English speaking students to become more proficient in English. It also includes sign language. So far 129 seals have been awarded for Spanish proficiency, 12 for Distinguished Spanish, and 12 for French. Seals have also been awarded for proficiency in German, Russian, and Mandarin. More may be handed out as additional test results come in. Many universities provide credits for Seal recipients, and a number of businesses have endorsed the program as a career benefit.