Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chinese School

I have a confession... sometimes I forget Camille is Chinese. When I look at Camille, I see a little girl... MY little girl. But when I see Camille in a group, I am reminded that she is something more than just my little girl. She is our little girl who also happens to be Chinese. Mike and I are Caucasian. I am mix of Scottish and Irish (from my father) and German (from my mother). Mike is a mix of Irish (from his mother) and European Jewish (from his father and hence our last name). We know a little about our heritage and culture, which is mostly American. Mike took Irish dance as a kid. We both have learned a lot about Jewish heritage from Mike's father. But we are not Chinese. We know very little about Chinese culture and, though Mike is learning Mandarin, neither of us feels we can teach Camille about her birthright. Camille is an American. She gave up Chinese citizenship for American citzenship, not by her choice, but because of us. We adopted her, but I still think we owe her that birthright. To learn Chinese culture and language to the best of her ability as a Chinese-American. It was not an easy decision for us. It is a decision that I think every parent of a child adopted internationally faces. Jewish children attend Hebrew school... Greek children go to Greek school... and so it goes, Chinese children in South Jersey attend the Chinese School of South Jersey . We have decided to enroll Camille in the "B" track, for children whose parents do not speak Chinese at home.

The first day was very intense. Ms. Huang, Camille's teacher, has been teaching at the Chinese School for 11 years. She is very good and I think Camille will learn a lot, but because the classes are only held once a week, for 3 hours, I think it's going to be a challange for everyone. There are about 16 students in the Kindergarten B class. All are either Chinese or 1/2 Chinese. They range in age from 4 - 6 years.

Camille with her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Huang

The kindergarten class take a snack break in the cafeteria.

Some new friends from Chinese School

The children made a frog craft.


Sheryl said...

Im curious to find out how she does in this school and what you think about the classes. I wanted to enroll my daughter but she is not yet 4, the minimum age. She will be going next year.

Faye said...

Hi Sheryl,

I would be happy to talk to you about CSSJ, but I can't access your profile or blog. Feel free to email me...