WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 163 of 219

"We had a lot of decisions to make. While some schools provide Cantonese lessons, we decided that our focus would be on Mandarin. Other schools, such as the one in Newton, have a student body of 1,000 students. We decided that we wanted a more intimate atmosphere, with an average of 10 children per class." The school is in session from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons from September through June. Different classes, based on ability, are provided for one- to one-and-a-half-hour time slots. "But we wanted to have a larger mission than just educating the stu- dents of Chinese-American families in the Wellesley area," shares Helen Fang, another founder and current vice principal of the school. "Our ambition was to provide more multicultural awareness to the greater Wellesley community." As such, the school does not just provide language classes. Children can register for Chinese calligraphy, Chinese painting classes, and chess. They have also added kung fu for younger children and are now provid- ing tai chi instruction for adults. "Our school is not just about language but about the greater Chinese culture," states Fang. "Every year we have a large celebration for the Chinese New Year. This year, we had over 360 guests at Olin College. Each class did a presentation, whether it was a poem or song. The chil- dren also displayed the lanterns that they had made. It was a great time." But perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment of the school is the fact that over 20 percent of the school's students are children who left: Kids from Basic Chinese class singing Happy New Year right: Taiji class from Wellesley Chinese Language School WCLS school leadership team (l to r): Ally Jin (Treasurer), Jianmei Kochling (Principal), Helen Fang (Vice Principal), and Zhaopeng Ji (Dean) P H O T O S C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y C H I N E S E L A N G U A G E S C H O O L "I am often approached by parents who want to talk about the school. It is very flattering, and I am proud of what we have established." – J i a n m e i K o c h l i n g W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 162 education "multicultural awareness "

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