A local non-profit which began as a grass-roots effort by Chinese families to make sure their children grew up with their language and their heritage intact is in its second year, and, along with the "best Chinese teachers" in the area is now offering Chinese as a second language to interested students of all backgrounds.

Piloted in the 2009-2010 school year in Montgomery Township, Good Good Study (GGS) Learning School is again offering an after-school program in Chinese language, as well as culture, math, science, and the arts. Working in conjunction with the Montgomery Township School District, GGS Learning School is available for pre-K to sixth grade children at Orchard Hill and Village elementary schools and Lower Middle School.

"We simply wanted to offer our kids a solid foundation, but found the weekend programs were very cumbersome for families," said Jennie Liu. "Our kids had so much extra homework that they really weren’t learning to appreciate our culture."

A few local parents put their resources together and sought approval to offer the program after school, from dismissal to 6 p.m., so children would have weekends free and no additional homework. This model also gives parents more free time after work to enjoy with their children. It was a huge success and, well into its second year, GGS Learning School is planning for a Summer Camp option, classes for children and adults on weekdays and weekends, as well as small group study and private lessons to meet every need.

"Our only costs are the teachers’ salaries, so we’ve been able to keep the pricing low for parents," Liu noted. "We want to be a bridge between a good Chinese learning resource and the individual who has the desire to learn."

As the program’s reputation has grown, so has enrollment. The pilot year attracted 12 children; this year there are 40. What’s even more impressive is that the students have started to enjoy learning Chinese, are speaking it at home, and are eager to attend after school.

"Now, we want to reach out to families who don’t have a Chinese background but are interested in our culture and our language," Liu explained. "Parents are welcome, too. The global economy has made Chinese a valuable language to know and understand."

Learn more and register now for camps on the Web at www.ggslearning.org or by calling 973-462-0763. See display ad on page 21.

GGS Learning School. P.O. Box 488, Belle Mead. 973-462-0763. ggslearning@gmail.com. www.ggslearning.org.

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