Growing Popularity of Chinese Studies in the Local Community
Are you considering the opportunity for yourself or your kids to delve into the world of language and culture? Is your young child ready to explore beyond the Ni Hao Kai lan TV show? You don’t have to travel within Lyme, Old Lyme or East Lyme to find authentic cultural experiences and instructors with diverse backgrounds.
The Southeastern Connecticut Chinese School (SCCS) located at East Lyme High School and offering classes on Sunday mornings warmly welcomes students of all ages from the surrounding region.
Founded in the 1970s by Chinese parents, many of whom were Pfizer employees with a goal to preserve their cultural heritage and reinforce their childrens Chinese language skills while living in an Americanized environment. The school has since. Now boasts an enrollment of over 330 students from New Haven to Rhode Island. The curriculum spans a wide range of subjects including language studies, fundamental knowledge about China taught in either English or Chinese art classes covering drawing and watercolor techniques, dance lessons, musical instrument instruction such as flute, violin and guitar. Additionally martial arts training sessions along, with yoga and basketball are available. Bilingual SAT preparation courses are also provided for students.
According to Dehua Chen, the principal of the school when the school transitioned into an organization in 1997 it faced space constraints on the Connecticut College campus. However fall it discovered a warm and welcoming community in East Lyme. Chen expressed gratitude towards Superintendent Lombardo and Michael Susi the principal of East Lyme High School for their support towards the schools program. This support has contributed to an increase in student enrollment including students from Chinese backgrounds. As a result Chen proudly stated that their school is starting to resemble an United Nations.
The school boasts a team of nearly 40 part time instructors and staff members with diverse backgrounds. Among them are accomplished arts and music teachers like Eva Leong from Mystic. Leong holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design. Teaches Chinese brush painting at the school. Additionally Frank Lynn Natter is responsible for guitar lessons as a music teacher.
It’s worth noting that Jeff Chong, an alumnus of both East Lyme High School and SCCS (the name of the school) graduated in 2007. Chong pursued architecture studies at Roger Williams University before returning to his alma mater as a math teacher for fourth grade students who come from various backgrounds.
Notably two current students, from East Lyme High School also serve as instructors at our school. Xiao Li is responsible for teaching one of the two classes designed for non native speakers at our school while Danni Shen specializes in teaching drawing. According to Chen it has become increasingly common for non native speakers to participate in our immersion classes due to their interest in the language. They are able to hold their own and make progress.
Chen emphasized that Chinese language education is not limited to those of descent. While the school was initially founded with the intention of preserving our language and culture for future generations all teachers and staff members see themselves as responsible for cultivating bilingual or multilingual skills and a global perspective among younger students in local public schools. Therefore they welcome anyone who’s interested in learning Chinese exploring its culture or taking advantage of the other classes offered.
An exciting event showcasing the artistic talents of SCCS students will be held at our annual talent show on Sunday May 22 from 10 a.m. To 1 p.m. The show will take place at the ELHS auditorium.
SCCS provides fall and spring semesters with course fees starting at $70 per semester for the 2010 11 year. To gather information, about our school or courses offered please feel free to contact us at (860) 884 9990 or email [email protected].
Mandarin Chinese for Children at Lyme School. The Lymes Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) is offering two opportunities to explore Mandarin Chinese language and culture this spring.
For pre schoolers and their parents or caregivers there will be a Mandarin playgroup held on four Wednesday mornings in May starting from May 4th running from 9;30 to 10;45 a.m. This engaging session at LYSB in Old Lyme will include creative Chinese games, songs, stories and playtime. It’s a way for young learners to become familiar with basic Chinese words. Each week focuses on a theme such as numbers, family, colors and animals. Families from neighboring communities are welcome to join this program for $40 covering all four sessions.
Additionally students attending Lyme School can participate in the After School Program that takes place on four Mondays starting May 9th. Hosted by LYSB this 65 minute session involves games, songs storytelling as well as crafts inspired by the rich Chinese culture. The fee for this program is $40.
Both programs will be led by Lili Yang. An educator who currently teaches Chinese at Pine Point School in Stonington. She has also worked extensively with learners, at the renowned Chinese Language School of Connecticut based in Riverside. Yang is also pursuing Connecticuts Alternate Route to Teacher Certification program specifically tailored towards teaching languages. Furthermore she will be conducting language classes for adults starting this fall in Old Lyme through New London Parks and Recreation continuing education.
To sign up for either program get in touch with LYSB by visiting their website at www.lysb.org.