BCS student places first in Chinese Star Contest

Bullis Charter School students performed well at the second Chinese Star Contest, a competition designed to promote interest in the Chinese language, cultivate an appreciation of Chinese culture, help students develop global awareness and enhance U.S.-China relations.

Bullis Charter School second-grader Alexa Zhang won first place in the first- and second-grade Drawing/Painting contest, and second-grader Linnea Forslin earned an honorable mention in the Chinese Poetry Recital contest.

The contest, organized by the Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University and the Santa Clara Office of Education, targets K-12 students from all language backgrounds, including native English-speaking students. Approximately 300 county students participated in five categories: Calligraphy, Painting/Drawing, Chinese Poetry Recital, Speech and Team Video.

“The Chinese Star contest offers the opportunity for youth to apply their perspectives of global awareness and multilingualism,” said Jon R. Gundry, county superintendent. “Student products demonstrated the ability to communicate creatively and effectively with diverse audiences through real-life application, research and technology.”

Bullis Charter School’s mission aligns with the goals of the contest, as it aims to teach its students global citizenship through its World Language Program, including Mandarin instruction, available to every student beginning in kindergarten. The school integrates Mandarin instruction into the core curriculum, enabling students to acquire proficiency while developing cultural knowledge and adopting global attitudes.

Qinglin Yang, who teaches Mandarin at the charter school, used the mission of the school’s World Language Program to help prepare her students for the poetry recital portion of the contest.

“In the BCS Mandarin program, we emphasize communication skills, especially public speaking,” Yang said. “We offer a class in public speaking in Mandarin to help students feel comfortable using this language in public.”

To prepare for the contest, students selected poems appropriate for their language level. They practiced reciting the poems and recording their recital so that they could hear their pronunciation and tones, Yang said. The students presented their poems to classmates.

“The purpose of the exercise was to provide each student with a chance to excel in public speaking, to improve their Mandarin skills and to gain a sense of achievement through their hard work and practice,” Yang added.

For more information on the contest, visit

For more information on Bullis Charter School, visit

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