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Students take on learning Chinese at the district's first-ever Chinese summer camp hosted at Middleton High School.

Students Learning to Speak Chinese at Local Summer Camp

June 07, 2017 - Points of Pride

Students from Hillsborough County Public Schools are spending part of their summer vacation learning Chinese! More the 50 students are taking part in the School District’s first-ever Chinese summer camp to learn about the culture and language of this Asian country. The students in grades 8-11 are learning basic Chinese phrases and exploring history through the ancient art form of Chinese calligraphy as well as the traditional Chinese Lion Dance, games and songs.

Middleton, a STEM magnet school, is the only high school in Hillsborough County that offers Mandarin Chinese as a course elective and the class is taught by Bernadette Hopper, who is also leading camp activities. Hopper says learning Chinese is a draw for students interested in the field of STEM. “Many of my students are interested in participating in the Chinese Camp because they want to be able to communicate with coders around the world who speak Chinese,” said Hooper.

The four-day camp will culminate with a Student Showcase on Thursday, June 8, at noon. Students will come together to bring the Chinese culture and language to life! Their calligraphy will be on display, they will sing Chinese songs, speak the new language and dance a traditional Chinese Lion Dance.

“This camp has had lots of interaction and is a fun way to learn Chinese. It’s not just sitting in a classroom and memorizing,” said James, a ninth grader who is attending Middleton High School magnet program next year. “This has also been an amazing opportunity because it is not offered everywhere.”

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