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The Princeton Chinese Language School, Inc. (PCLS) is a nonprofit institution whose primary mission is to provide a structured and nurturing venue for learning Chinese language and culture. Students from all backgrounds and ages are welcome to join. Parents' active involvement in school activities demonstrates to our children the value of community service. Established in 1970, PCLS now has a proud history of thirty-two years. At its inception, the school was affiliated with Princeton University's Chinese Club, where classes were held on the campus. There were five teachers and twenty students at that time. Today, we have over 200 students, 17 language teachers, and 17 culture instructors. We hold weekly classes at the Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton. Students are assigned to language classes based on either their age or Chinese language proficiency, and to cultural activities according to their preferences. Two of our language classes are conversation classes designed for students whose home language is not Chinese. There is no age limitation for the conversation class. We follow the traditional Chinese language curriculum using ZuYin phonic and traditional characters in the lower grades. However, recognizing that PinYin is gaining universal acceptance, it is introduced in grades 5 through 9 after students have mastered Chinese enunciation. Our language curriculum emphasizes practical use of Chinese in speaking, reading, and writing. The Chinese culture classes include painting, Chinese chess, knotting, folk dancing, music, yo-yo, martial arts, sewing crafts, swordsmanship, etc. There are also adult activities such as Tai-Chi Chuan, basketball, swordsmanship, and Chinese knotting. The school calendar is divided into two 16-week terms (Fall and Spring). Classes are held from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm every Sunday. Our school is run by parents who volunteer their time and talents. Under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, the school administration is operated by an operating committee that consists of the principal, editor/registrar, general manager, guidance counselor, activity coordinator, and parent liaison. The academic director, cultural director, and teaching staff are responsible for academic activities. Members of the Board of Trustees are elected and serve on a volunteer basis. Our students and parents are dedicated to community service through various cultural exchange programs. In recent years, PCLS has fostered awareness of Chinese culture and community services by helping to sponsor local events such as Communiversity Day in Princeton, the Girl Scouts' Annual Conference of Greater Delaware, the CJCNN Annual Conference, the Princeton University International Festival, and the Plainsboro Chinese New Year Celebration. We believe that community service is the best way for us to show appreciation to our society.
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