The Charlottesville Chinese School (CCS) was founded by Dr. Peter Yu, a former Associate Dean at the University of Virginia, in 1993. At that time, the children of eight Chinese families got together in an informal home schooling setting on weekends to study Chinese language and culture. Since then, with faculty supervision from the Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures (DEALLC), the school has grown to serve more than 50 students studying in nine different Chinese classes at different levels using the most up-to-date pedagogical materials and techniques. The students come from both Chinese heritage and non-Chinese heritage families. The school constitutes an essential activity of the department’s outreach program, supporting as well the East Asia Center’s commitment to serving the local community, a key feature of its designation as a federally-funded National Resource Center for East Asian Studies. In addition to teaching language, the school provides opportunities for cultural enrichment and contributes to a vibrant multicultural Charlottesville.
Since 2008, Prof. Hsin-hsin Liang and Dr. Miao-fen Tseng have offered pedagogical workshops and acted as consultants on the Charlottesville Chinese School curriculum. In addition, teachers in the school have been strongly encouraged to join the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA)-Virginia, a regional professional organization for Chinese teachers, founded by Dr. Miao-fen Tseng in 2008. Many CCS teachers attend the CLTA-VA workshops that are regularly held twice a year. In some years UVA students also devote their time to teach Chinese dance or Chinese martial arts to the pupils. The collaboration between DEALLC and the Charlottesville Chinese School demonstrates our effort to fully commit to the mission of community outreach.