Chinese School Preserves Culture


After attending school Monday through Friday and completing their homework, Westbury residents Alexia Huang, 13, and her younger sister Natacia spend their Sundays at the Chinese Culture Association of Long Island (CCALI) and Chinese School on the campus of N.Y.I.T. in Westbury. Both siblings love learning how to read, write and speak Chinese like their parents as well as learn all about the culture through fun, educational activities. 

Students work in groups to learn Chinese language skills.
Students work in groups to learn Chinese language skills.

The school teaches children in pre-kindergarten through ninth grade how to become fluent in Chinese, training them well enough to ultimately be able to take the SAT 2 in Chinese. Students are broken up into a traditional and bi-lingual program based on their knowledge of the language regardless of their age. They take a test to place them in the correct classes. In class, students work hard together to become proficient in the language.

The Huang siblings say they find the classes and activities fun. Recently they celebrated the Chinese New Year at the school and learned about its purpose, listened to Chinese music and participated in cultural activities.

“Being born in New York, I wanted to grant my daughters the opportunity to learn Chinese. I didn’t want them to forget their traditions, roots and heritage. I wanted them to understand their culture,” said their father, Alex Huang, who is also a board member at the school.

The two take pride taking on a second school for almost six years now. While learning about idioms and grammar, they both participated with a smile ear to ear.

“I enjoy learning about my roots and the language,” said Natacia.

Their father is very proud of their motivation and hard work. “They are progressing year after year, and they speak the language at home with me and their mother. I’m hoping they stay here until graduation and ultimately help others learn by becoming teacher’s assistants,” he smiled.
The school is open to Chinese and non-Chinese speaking children. Children attend classes on Sundays from 1:30 to 5 p.m. For more information call principal Cathleen Huang at 516-216-4862 or email The website is

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