My journey at Bohua Chinese School began in the fall of 1995 when my son transferred here from another Chinese School with much larger class sizes. Two years later he moved onto college but I stayed on as a volunteer.
My affection for Bohua is rooted in the spirit of camaraderie shared among the families and the special attention teachers and administrators share with those families and students who have special needs in their learning of Chinese language and culture. Over the years, we have had students who were adopted from China by American families, overseas Chinese who do not speak Mandarin or Chinese at home, Americans or American-born Chinese who don’t speak Chinese at all. For these students, our teachers use folk songs, games and lively discussion to encourage in the children learning this difficult language an affinity with it and as tools to help them remember sentence patterns and pronunciation. We work hard to create a “happy” environment, in which, I believe, students learn better.
We have switched to “pinyin” (which uses the Roman alphabets for pronunciation) in the past couple of years from the traditional “Bopomofo” system due to the fact that it is easier for students in learning and families helping with their home works. However, we continue to use textbooks with traditional Chinese characters to preserve the special meaning and beauty of this exquisite language and culture.
From time to time when I review in my mind memories of the many Bohua students who, during our semi-annual speech contests, stood up and out of shyness whispered their presentation, or cried as they delivered it, out of a mixed desire to do a great job and concern that they were not; who transformed before my eyes into confident and accomplished young men and women, I know my choice to stay at Bohua as a volunteer was a good one. My affection and my desire to share my time each week with the Bohua family of parents, students and volunteers is as strong now as it has ever been, and I am very much looking forward to enjoying many more years as a cheerleader for this school.