BCIC Newsletter

Barrington Chinese Immersion Club - October 2019

Homecoming 2019!

Chinese Immersion Parents and students came together to build the fourth annual BCIC parade float for the Barrington Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 5. Our colorful float was very well received by the spectators watching the parade!

As the 2019 homecoming theme was “Candyland Homecoming - It's Going to be Sweet!”, BCIC’s float was decorated to celebrate candy, candy, candy! The float, painted to look like a giant piece of "Chinese Good Luck Candy", was adorned with colored balloons, multicolored bunting and giant lollipops. Many of the students rode on the float, and others walked beside it with their families. Most of the children passed out ( ... you guessed it!) CANDY to the spectators.

Special thanks to Julie Carani for coordinating the build, and to the Joyce family and The Barn Nursery for donating the driver, truck and trailer! Additional thanks to Nikisa George, mother of 5th grader Nailah as well as director of Linguate Academy (providing Chinese language and culture programs to K-5 students in our district) and Yang Lao Shi, our wonderful High School CI Teacher! Nikisa, Yang and their team of students helped decorate the float, and did a wonderful job!


Homecoming 2019 Photos

Big picture

"Culture Club" - Summer 2019 Highlights!

This past summer, BCIC pulled off an amazing feat for its Chinese Immersion students. Led by Sylvia Shen, the council offered 7 culturally enriching classes, with a wide range of grade and interest levels. Each of the classes were well attended, and provided a chance for students to meet kids in other grades and from different schools. Plus since several of the classes were held at Greencastle Manor, there was also the added multi-generational component that all enjoyed. Check out these photos of the kids and Greencastle Manor residents enjoying their time with the Chinese "Culture Club" (insert Boy George reference here)!

In addition to Sylvia Shen (mother of Flora), we also thank the class instructors: Manli Yu (Kevin), Baoyu Cheng (Anne Sui), Cali Zhou (Sophia Ma), Lucy Zhang (Mia and Austin), Nina Chen (Daniel), Master David Garrison, and Youmei Shao (Derrick). We couldn't have had this successful program without you!


Snapshots from the "Culture Club" . . .

"Culture Club" photos, cont'd.

"Culture Club" photos, cont'd.

CI Parents, Faculty discuss cultural awareness

Cultural awareness and understanding is a key part of our Barrington 220 Chinese Immersion Program. During separate sessions for faculty (Admin, Chinese and English Teachers) and CI parents in late September, Julia Atkinson highlighted differences between China and the USA, concerning people, culture and education and what it takes to learn Chinese.

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Cultural Awareness, cont'd.

Julia offered her audience the following learning points:

  • The largest part of your culture remains "below the surface" and needs to be understood in order to remove misunderstandings and create synergies.
  • Different cultures think and communicate differently, Chinese tones and language patterns result in a different communication ’style’.
  • Learning Chinese takes time and practice, parents shared some of their experience which led to these tips:

    - Keep practice short and repeat often
    - Practice in the morning, waiting for the bus, with boards on chalk on the driveway
    - Practice on the way to sports, waiting at the doctor etc.
    - Let kids prepare their own quizzes
    - Let siblings quiz each other or phone a classmate to practice
    - Above all small kids, help them build mnemonic memory help (auditory)- Let them draw the character in a picture (visual)
    - For older kids: let them figure out what parts of the character they recognize

Julia has two children in the Barrington 220 Chinese Immersion program: a 4th grader at North Barrington Elementary and a 6th grader at Station Middle school. Both children were born in China and the family spent nearly 9 years living in Beijing and Shanghai before they moved to Barrington in 2015, all of them learned Chinese. After a corporate career of over 10 years, Julia has worked as Cross Cultural Trainer and Executive Coach for 12 years. She grew up in Munich, Germany, lived in France and her husband is British, so culture has been a fascinating topic for a long time.

It was such an interesting and useful discussion! Thanks, Julia!

Here's a little something we do at BCIC!

As you know, your CI child's day can be a little tricky at times. They need to switch classrooms back and forth from English to Mandarin class, they likely have different school supplies in each room, and so on. Does it sound like chaos? Yes and no. The teachers in the CI program have each developed wonderful systems to help your child's transition run smoothly during the school day.

A little something we do, cont'd.

Each teacher in District 220 receives a stipend in the beginning of the year, but most (or all) of their stipend is used for general needs - to buy staplers, tape, glue and such. The BCIC comes in to aid in supplying necessary items that will help with the management of two classes with frequent transitions. So far this year, we have provided:

  • a mobile storage rack
  • desk organizers
  • wobble cushions
  • and a Chinese character game for the CI children

We at BCIC are thrilled to continue helping our CI teachers in fulfilling their classroom needs! But none of this could happen without your very kind contributions - such as your annual family membership, proceeds from adult and potluck parties, and even the contributions that come our way from AmazonSmile and Heinen's! YOU are the ones that make all this possible! Thank you!


Upcoming Events and More

Come to our next BCIC board meeting!

Our November General Meeting is on November 6 at Station at 7pm. Meeting features Rebecca Weigel, Director of Programs, Dr. Kristin Paul, Station Principal, and introduces Yu Lao Shi - new Chinese teacher at Station.

About Us

Our mission is to advocate for and support the Chinese Immersion Program in District 220, Barrington, Illinois: its families, staff and teachers both in and outside of the classroom with advice, materials and experiences not covered by our tax dollars. We aim to build a strong relationship and sense of community between BCIC, the school district, teachers, staff, participating families and the community at large.