School History

 

Our School

Wo(3)-men de Xue(2)-Xiao(4)

 

 

About The Clearwater Chinese Language School

  • History

Our school was started in 1990 (in Clearwater) by the Chinese Community of Pinellas County Florida. It has always held classes and meetings once a week on Sunday afternoons. It is run by the parents as a volunteer organization and is incorporated as a non-profit educational organization. Contributions are fully tax deductible. The administrative staff is unpaid. Teachers receive a small salary. Our School has been and continues to be the focal point for the Chinese community of Pinellas County and a leader in the Tampa Bay Area. Classes are currently held at the Chinese Community Church located at 4600 78 Ave., N., Pinellas Park.

  • Hai(2)-zi (children's) Classes

We currently have four class levels. Each class is small, usually 10 to 15 students each. Our teachers have been with their students a long time, often moving with them to the next higher level. New classes are added as the students progress. Having stable teachers as well as committed students and parents is part of the success of our school. There are two semesters per year, Fall and Winter, which follow the regular school schedule except that they meet only once a week on Sunday afternoons for three hours.

  • Da(4)-ren (big person) Classes

 

 

We currently have two daren classes. The beginning level focuses on conversation and pinyin pronunciation and is taught by Miss Anna. The second level is taught by Mary Ann and uses Chinese characters as well as phonics. This class is suitable for the continuing study of Chinese. Students receive individual attention based on their own level of proficiency. A lot of our students have taken Chinese elsewhere before, such as a college course. This Many of the daren students are professionals and self-educated people who like the challenge of learning a second language, or a third.

 

Miss Anna Chou at SPIFFS festival signing Fans

               Our New T-Shirt Logo Design

                     

  • Activities

Last year we had our first Grand Opening celebration in our new premises. We had excellent home cooked Chinese food and a talent show, including music and dance groups. We have a children’s dance group as well as a ladies dance group, to which men are also invited to join. Sunny has pledged to give $50 to the school for every pound a dance group member loses and keeps off. What better way to diet and exercise.

We also have Chinese Chess and Brush Painting as activities for the students taught by Li Si-Tang (Tom Lacey) during the activity period. During break periods, the children also enjoy shooting hoops outside or playing air hockey, chess, and other games.

We have a hall and stage where the students often practice ribbon dance or other performances.

 

 

 

Part of the success of our Chinese School is that we make it a fun three hours. Our teachers are serious about learning but not authoritarian, so our students enjoy learning. They all like their teachers.

The school also provides a meeting place for parents while students are in class. The annual Chinese New Year festival at USF is an event on which the students and parents work very hard, making costumes and practicing dances for the annual performance. The dance group also performs at the SPIFFS folk festival in Vinoy Park and other community and school demonstrations. At the end of each semester, we have an awards ceremony either at a Chinese restaurant or in the School Hall, with everyone bringing a dish of home cooked Chinese food. We also have an annual Halloween party and costume contest.

 

Benefits of Chinese School

 

Chinese School provides children with an alternative Sunday afternoon activity that is both educational and fun. The children look forward to seeing their friends in Chinese School and learn good peer influences as well as having good adult supervision.

Most of the older children now also attend the International Baccalaureate program. Getting the students to do this was the result of positive peer influence as well as networking among parents. If parents find out how think their children can achieve excellence, they will usually find it important to help their children achieve more.

Our Chinese School graduates have gone on to very good schools, such as the engineering program at Georgia Tech, where they also continue their Chinese studies. They also do study abroad in China and so become fluent in Mandarin. These students are really glad they went to Chinese School, although some of them wish they had taken the opportunity more seriously and learned more.

With the world becoming smaller and smaller, it pays to be fluent in another language and learn another culture, particularly one so different from us in America.

 

Not Just for Chinese Americans

 

We have had many students who have no Chinese connection, such as having a friend in school or American parents who are interested in having their children learn a foreign language and culture.

 

Reaching Out: Helping Other Chinese Schools

 

Chinese Schools in Florida and around the country help each other in going about setting up Chinese Schools in their community. They also receive help from local Chinese Cultural Associations and other groups. Do you have a Chinese Cultural Association in your community?

 

Donations Welcome

 

If you would like to donate to the Clearwater Chinese School, please send a check to:

 

Clearwater Chinese Language School
4600 78 Ave.,
N.
Pinellas Park
, FL 33781-2427

 

You will receive a prompt thank you letter with tax deductible information.

 

Website: http://mychinese.org

 

Phone Contacts

                        Enga Gilday   (Principal) Phone 328-1625 Cell (727) 643-6418

                        Tom Lacey  (Vice-Principal)   (727) 398-6922  Cell  (727) 455-1056
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