From the Principal’s Desk:
I would like to provide a brief introduction into how Ding Hao Chinese School came to be. From 1982-1991, I was the principal of Ming De Chinese School, and our purpose there was to educate Chinese children from Chinese-speaking families. After having been retired for five years from Ming De, I was asked by Dr. Peter Chou, one of the founders of Ming De, to start a pilot program for second generation Chinese American children. In 1996, I created a class for seven children. Dr. Chou named this class Ding Hao, which means “the best.” Because of its success, by 2000, the CCAGP board asked us to become a school instead of a single program, and Ding Hao Chinese School was formally established.
Ding Hao Chinese School’s mission has evolved through the years. First, it was established for the grandchildren of families who had attended Ming De. Then as more American families adopted Chinese children, we provided a bridge between American and Chinese culture through language and culture lessons. These families came from all over the area. Since these parents could not speak Chinese, they needed a bilingual program to teach their children. As we continue, many public and private schools have added Chinese to their language programs, and we are delighted that so many of our students are able to continue their Chinese studies in their respective schools. We, however, have the unique opportunity to educate Ding Hao students of all ages in a very close-knit community where we emphasize family involvement and activities that encourage our students to understand the culture and history of the language they are learning.
I have always encouraged language immersion from an early age, and I’m so pleased to see so many families enrolling their young children into Ding Hao. We provide language classes for students as young as three years old to lay a solid foundation for pronunciation, tones, and characters. We offer a variety of programs such as summer camp, Chinese Character Recognition Day, adult language classes, culture festivals, and the Chinese New Year’s performance, in order to give varied opportunities for our students to practice their language and discover more about the Chinese culture.
Our curriculum is challenging, but we have devoted teachers who create engaging and interactive lessons for their students. We are thrilled that our lower level curriculum was selected by a Taiwanese publisher to be made into a textbook for Chinese schools throughout North America and Asia. Our lower and middle level students participate in Character Recognition Day where they compete in their knowledge of Chinese characters. Our upper level students have done exceptionally well with the Youth Chinese Test, which is an assessment given by China’s State Department’s Confucius Institute. Last year, five of our upper level students also had an opportunity to participate in the standardized test HSK, which is sponsored by China’s Department of Education. These assessments validate all the hard work and effort the students have put forth and also give the school an objective insight into our program’s curriculum and student achievement.
Every year we have triumphs and challenges, and we are fortunate to have dedicated teachers, supportive friends of the school, and most importantly involved families that allow our school to thrive and succeed. I want to thank all those who have made Ding Hao Chinese School the wonderfully supportive community it is today.
Principal, Ding Hao Chinese School