Dear BCS Families:
We’d like to extend a warm welcome both to returning and new families joining Bergen Chinese School. Founded in 1972, the BCS community continues to thrive because of the strong partnership between parents, teachers, and administrators – all for the common goal of teaching our children Chinese language and culture. Today, BCS is a vibrant and diverse community, uniting families representing many different ethnic backgrounds in our common interest in Chinese language and culture. Our administrative staff and PTA reflect this diversity; ours is as much an American story as it is Chinese.
Our curriculum has 2 tracks to accommodate the diversity of our families. The “Heritage” track is geared toward those families who speak Mandarin at home, while we also have “Chinese as a Second Language” classes to serve non-native speakers. Classes range from Pre-kindergarten to Adult Conversation.
Cultural activities, such as arts and crafts, calligraphy, and holiday traditions are integrated into classroom instruction for younger grades. Higher grade students take dedicated cultural activity classes 6 periods each semester, and can choose from Chinese calligraphy, arts and crafts, Chinese chess, Chinese yo-yo, Weiqi (Go), and kung fu. We also offer children’s folk dance and lion dance classes, as well as adult tai chi, ikebana, Chinese brush painting, and water color painting through third-party teachers.
In addition to learning language and culture in the classrooms, students and families participate in major Chinese holiday festivities, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year (also called Spring Festival). Twice a year, students participate in school-sponsored academic contests: story telling/recitation contest in the fall and a traditional Chinese character recognition contest in the spring.
There is much to share with you, and we will do so as the year unfolds. Meanwhile, please visit the school website frequently for announcements, highlights, photos, and feature articles. Your classroom teachers will also communicate with you by email every week regarding class progress and important reminders.
Finally, we encourage you to get involved and to seek out opportunities to support the BCS community. Whether it is as a class parent, a PTA officer, or a dean of students, any involvement will serve to build the very environment that nurtures your family’s connection to the Chinese culture. Those who are more interested in teaching language and culture seek opportunities for teacher training; those who are able to share their organizational skills and experiences take on administration work; and those who can spearhead event programming and fundraising can join the PTA. Along the way, wonderful memories are created and lifelong friendships are forged.
Our experience tells us that children do best when parents are involved; and when parents are involved, children become engaged and participate more in the classroom – a critical factor when learning any language.
So, welcome again. We look forward to continuing the strong traditions of BCS together with your help!
Charles Shyy (史訓智)
Principal, Bergen Chinese School