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Two Distance Learning Students Receive Recognition in Chinese Language Essay Contest

Two students studying Mandarin Chinese through the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Interactive Video Courses (IVC) program recently received gold awards in the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) National Essay Contest.

This is the third year in a row that students from the Chinese program have participated in the competition, and the first time the students have won gold and silver awards. The contest is open to all students studying the Chinese language and culture in the United States. A total of 650 students nationwide participated this year.

From the middle school cohort, two students from Clinton Middle School won gold awards; sixth grade student Emily Chen and seventh grade student Alexandra Allen.

For the middle school 2022 essay contest, students were asked to think about the things that the adults in charge are doing well and not so well, and what would they would do differently if they were an adult with the power to change things. In the essay, Allen mentioned that if she were president, she would work on four things: gun control, helping homeless people, stopping discrimination and reducing the payment for health care. Chen wrote about how she would have behaved differently during the pandemic; giving more attention to those who can’t access medical treatment or have a lack of food at home.

According to their teacher Mrs. Wang, Allen and Chen are “creative, full of ideas and excellent students with many talents.”

The competition aims to promote the study of the Chinese language and culture among students in the United States and to foster greater cross-cultural understanding. The students’ depth of thought, creativity, sympathy and empathy to their peers are all shown in their compositions. Their success is a testament to the hard work of teachers as well as the support from each school in promoting the study of the Chinese language and culture. 

Students who study Mandarin Chinese through the OHM BOCES can take up to seven years of courses, including the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit for successful course completion in their sixth and/or seventh years of study. Alternatively, independent of the seven-year language sequence, high school students can study Mandarin Chinese for up to two years and receive both high school and college credit.

For more information on courses available through the OHM BOCES IVC program, please visit: