Kids' China knowledge awarded

Updated: 2015-03-30 05:01

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Kids' China knowledge awarded

Consul General Luo Linquan holds Michelle Ahl, one of the winners in poetry recital, at a party held by the Consulate General of China in San Francisco on March 27 to celebrate the success of the 11th Chinese Bridge Cup Contest. [PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

A total of 233 K-12 students in the San Francisco Bay Area received awards for their talent in Chinese language and culture at this year's Chinese Bridge Cup Contest which attracted more than 1,100 participants.

The Consulate General of China in San Francisco hosted a party on Friday to celebrate the success of the contest, which was held early this month, with around 500 guests, including the award-winning students, their families and teachers, as well as judges and volunteers.

"The large population of Chinese descent and the rich educational resources in the San Francisco Bay Area create a favorable environment for developing Chinese education," said Consul General Luo Linquan at the party. "The Chinese Bridge Cup has become a well-known brand of Chinese learning in the Bay Area."

The Chinese Bridge Cup Contest, organized by the Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University and San Francisco Unified School District, looks to provide more opportunities for students to demonstrate their linguistic and cultural talent as well as showcase their interest and achievement in learning Chinese language and culture with help from their parents and teachers.

The Chinese Bridge Cup has been held for 11 years since it was first launched in 2005.

"It is the first of its kind in North America, and the idea was put forth by some teachers in the school district and the education office of the consulate general," said Jiaxin Xie, director of the Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University.

"There were only around 200 participants at the first contest, and only three categories of painting, calligraphy and Chinese poetry recital were offered," he said.

This year, six competitive categories were available, including the most challenging Chinese composition and translation, said Xie.

The 7-year-old Michelle Ahl, half Chinese and half American, was one of the winners in poetry recital.

The first grader at Brittain Acres Elementary School in San Carlos won the award for her recitation of a famous Chinese poem Reflections on the Ancient Red Cliff which was created during the Earlier Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago.

The girl, who speaks fluent Chinese, said she had prepared for the contest for three months with the help of her mother.

To cover more students in the area, the organizers of Chinese Bridge Cup expanded the contest to Santa Clara County, heart of Silicon Valley, in September last year.

"Last year's Chinese Star Competition in Silicon Valley attracted a large number of Chinese learners, which shows the locals' increasing demand for Chinese education," Luo told the guests at the party.

"China's development and growth have stimulated the world's enthusiasm to learn its language," Luo said. "China and the US have been continually deepening their collaboration and exchanges, as represented by cultural exchanges between the two countries, which in turn provide rare opportunities to develop Chinese education in the US."

Xie said the Confucius Institute and the Education Office of Santa Clara are going to hold a talk next week about launching the second Chinese Star Competition this year.