Chinese Language and Culture Camps, Classes, Playgroups, and Mentorship Programs in New England
The following information is provided as a resource. Inclusion of a program on this list does not imply endorsement by FCCNE. We encourage you to research to discover which programs are best for you and your family.
Please note that the COVID-19 pandemic changed schedules, operations, and programs everywhere. Check directly with each program for their latest updates.
Table of Contents
Chinese Language School of Greater Hartford – Youth Summer Camp
One-week day camp for 6-13 year olds that offers language learning, martial arts, calligraphy, painting, music, dance, arts and crafts, Chinese yoyo, cooking, and more.
When: Early July 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Irving A. Robbins Middle School, Farmington
Bangor Chinese School Chinese Dragon Camp
Standards-based intensive Chinese language and culture curriculum for 5-17 year olds taught through an immersion model. Offers both basic and intermediate/advanced day camps. Includes Chinese history, geography, calligraphy, arts and crafts, kite flying, field trips, tai chi, music, cooking, and more.
When: 1-week sessions throughout the summer, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Trip to China late July/early August
Cambridge-Ellis School Mandarin Room
This program was begun by FCCNE families
Pre-school program which immerses 2-6 year olds in the Mandarin language and the different traditions of the Mandarin-speaking cultures through the exploration of food, dance, holiday celebrations, and music.
Location: 80 Trowbridge Street, Cambridge
Cambridge Center for Chinese Culture: Chinese Culture Summer School Program
Classes, activities, and hot lunch provided for children 5 and up in an air- conditioned school facility. The program provides instruction in the Chinese language (listening, speaking, reading, writing), math, arts, music, science, gym (swimming, ball games, etc.) and educational field trips (visiting museums, farms, zoo or parks).
When: 2-week day camp sessions June through early September, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Location: 411 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham
Chinese Language Immersion Program for Grades 7-10
A four-week residential summer program for gifted students in grades 7 – 10 combining a full-immersion experience with an array of events and activities which set the cultural context for the languages participants are studying. The Language Immersion Program is a partnership between the Center for Talented Youth and the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy a program of Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Kwong Kow School
Innovative Summer Mandarin Immersion Program
A summer day program for children age 5-14, 10:00am to 6:00pm, that includes classes with full immersion Chinese language and culture program including fun indoor and outdoor activities, Chinese village themed classroom and native bilingual Chinese teachers. Also includes swimming and field trips.
When: Late June through late August
Location: 87 Tyler Street, Boston (Chinatown)
New England Chinese Youth Summer Camp
One-week day and residential summer camp programs for 6-17 year olds that explore Chinese culture. Teachers from the local area and Taiwan offer instruction in martial arts, Chinese dancing, arts and crafts, and Chinese painting. ExplorAsian program gives high school students opportunities to discuss issues faced by Chinese Americans and to learn about Chinese culture and heritage. There is a selective counselor-in- training program for older teens. Day program is for ages 6-10, residential program for ages 10-14, ExplorAsian program ages 14-17, counselor-in-training for ages 16-17
When: Usually the first week of August (dates vary by program)
Location: Regis College, Weston, MA
Winchester School of Chinese Culture Chinese Day Camp
Day camp for kindergarten through grade 5 that offers a Chinese immersion experience with intensive language training in the mornings; afternoon workshops in martial arts, calligraphy, and arts and crafts; and weekly full-day field trips.
When: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Full day); 8:30am – 12:30pm (Half day);
Camp sessions run Monday – Friday.
Location: Winchester Unitarian Church, 478 Main Street, Winchester, MA
Vermont Chinese Culture Weekend Family Summer Camp
Camp Common Ground runs family camps. For a number of years they offered a three-day Chinese Culture camp for families to relax, make friends, participate in camp-type activities, and learn more about China and its culture. Read about one family’s experience here.
Location: Starksboro (in a valley in the Hogback Mountains).
PROGRAMS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND
There are many Chinese heritage, language and culture camps available outside of New England. A number of FCCNE families have gone to Concordia Language Villages, a language immersion program based in the north Minnesota that offers summer Chinese language programs for youth, families and adults.
Established by Chinese Americans to sustain their language and cultural heritage, Chinese schools are an important part of the Chinese American community. Chinese schools generally offer classes in Chinese and cultural activities on Saturdays or Sundays. Many offer after school or evening programs and summer camps, as well. Most schools welcome children and adults of all ages and backgrounds.
Today many public and private schools offer Chinese language instruction as well.
ALL NEW ENGLAND STATES
The Asia Society established the Asia Society Chinese Language Partner Network, a national network of over 100 exemplary Chinese language programs selected through a competitive application process: here is their complete list and details on the programs.:
They include the following New England Schools:
CT Center for Global Studies
CT Glastonbury Public Schools
CT Greenwich High School
CT Newtown High School
CT Simsbury Public Schools
CT Sunset Ridge Elementary Academy for Arts and World Languages
CT West Hartford public Schools
MA Boston Renaissance Charter Public School
MA Jonas Clarke Middle School
MA Medfield Public Schools
MA Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School
MA Wood Hill Middle School – Andover Public Schools
ME Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School
VT Arlington Memorial High School
Chinese Language School of Connecticut
Locations: Riverside (weekend) and Greenwich (weekday)
Activity-based classes in Mandarin Chinese as a second language, with enrichment units on culture, history and traditions for children 18 months old and up, as well as for adults.
Chinese Language School of Fairfield County
Location: Rippowam School, Stamford
Mandarin Chinese language and culture classes for children in kindergarten and older. Language programs use simplified and traditional characters. Cultural classes for children include arts and crafts, calligraphy, Chinese chess, Chinese painting, chorus, folk dancing and kung fu. Cultural classes for adults include ballroom dancing, calligraphy, Chinese painting, conversational Chinese, and tai chi.
Weekend Classes: School meets on Sundays.
The Chinese Language School of Greater Hartford
Location: Trinity College, Hartford
Chinese language and cultural programs for all ages and abilities. Language classes teach speaking, reading and writing Chinese (both traditional and simplified characters are taught). Cultural classes include kung fu, traditional Chinese folk dancing, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese chess, arts and crafts, and more.
Weekend Classes: Chinese language and culture classes for preschoolers through adults
Weekday and Afterschool Classes: Classes in Chinese culture and conversation
New Haven Chinese Language School
Location: Yale University, College Street, New Haven
Mandarin Chinese language lessons at all levels using traditional characters and the phonic system Zhuyin Fuhao, which is used in Taiwan.
Weekend Program: Classes are held on Sunday mornings.
Southern Connecticut Chinese School
Location: Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven,
Chinese language lessons in Mandarin with standard Chinese pronunciation, simplified characters, and pinyin for children 6-13, as well as courses in painting, music, and other cultural activities.
Weekend Classes: Classes are held on Sunday afternoons
Bangor Chinese School
Location: Chinese Language and Culture Center, Bangor
Chinese language and culture classes for children, adults, and teachers
Weekday and Afterschool Classes: Morning and evening classes for adults, afternoon classes for children
Weekend Classes: Saturday and Sunday classes for adults and children
Chinese American Friendship Association of Maine
Promotes friendship between Chinese Americans, non-Chinese Americans, and Chinese people of all nationalities. They have done classes in Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture, including calligraphy, art, song, and dance.
Acton Chinese Language School
Location: R.J. Grey Junior High School, Acton
Entry-level to advanced classes for children in kindergarten and up in Chinese language, traditions, and culture, using the pinyin phonetic system and both simplified and traditional Chinese characters, as well as classes in Chinese painting, martial arts, dancing and Chinese chess.
Weekend classes: Classes are offered Sunday afternoons.
Beijing Chinese Language School in Massachusetts
Location: University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, just off of Route 9.
Offers classes at many levels in the Chinese language, mathematics and art to children in preschool through 12th grade.
Weekend classes: Classes meet Sunday afternoons.
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Program location: 38 Ash Street, Boston
Provides low-cost classes and free activities, including bilingual education, childcare, cultural, social, youth and recreational programs. Programs for children, youth, and adults focus on enhancing artistic and cultural experiences for members and friends of the Boston Chinatown neighborhood community.
Weekend Programs: Classes and activities are held on Saturdays
Chinese Culture Connection
Location: 109 Mountain Ave, Malden
Offers an array of programs for both adults and children including Interactive educational programs, and visual and performing arts activities for schools, libraries, museums, and community centers throughout New England. Offers language and art classes in Mandarin for children and adults, as well as classes in calligraphy, brush painting, traditional Chinese dance, Chinese music and more.
Weekday and Weekend Classes: Classes are held on Thursday evenings, Friday afternoons, and Saturdays.
Location: 80 Trowbridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Afterschool program for 2 – 5 year olds offers an immersion experience in Mandarin Chinese, including language instruction with developmentally appropriate arts, crafts, music, cooking and outdoor play.
Cambridge Center for Chinese Culture
Program Locations: Cambridge (Cambridge Rindge and Latin School) and Waltham
Teaches Chinese using standard Chinese pronunciation, simplified characters and pinyin, the Chinese phonetic alphabet.
Afterschool Classes – Cambridge: Offered to Cambridge residents 6 years and older. Offered every day or Tuesday-Thursday.
Weekend Classes – Waltham: Saturday and Sunday classes for children and adults.
The Central Massachusetts Chinese Language School
Program Location: Hastings Elementary School, 111 East Main St. (Rte 30), Westborough, MA.
Teaches Chinese using traditional Chinese characters and both Zhuyin and Pinyin phonetic systems for students from preschool through 9th grade. Also provides cultural enrichment opportunities including Chinese folk dance, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese chess, badminton, table tennis and martial arts. Bilingual conversational classes are available for non-Chinese speaking adults.
Weekend classes: Classes on held on Sundays.
Century Chinese Language School
Classes for children and adults in Chinese language and culture.
Location: Framingham; Weekend classes: Classes are held on Sundays.
Chelmsford Chinese Language School
Location: Chelmsford High School, 200 Richardson Rd, North Chelmsford, MA
Chinese language and culture classes for children in preschool through 8th grade. Parent activities include ballroom dancing, aerobics, yoga, playing cards, Chinese chess and various seminars.
Afterschool classes: Classes are held on Friday evenings during the school year.
The Chinese Language School
Program Location: Jonas Clarke Middle School, Lexington.
Teaches Chinese language and provides Chinese cultural activities for children in preschool through 9th grade. Chinese cultural classes include Chinese chess and Go, arts and crafts, folk dance, calligraphy, painting, kung fu, and Chinese music instruments such as di zi (flute), er hu (2 string violin), and yang ching (dulcimer). During student language class sessions, parents can take tai chi, yuan-ji dance, or er hu lessons; play basketball and other sports; or join a weekly parent-led round table discussion.
Weekday and Afterschool Classes: Afternoon and evening classes for children and adults.
Weekend Classes: Sunday classes for children and adults
Chinese School Andover
School location: Pike School, Andover, Massachusetts
Offers more than 30 Chinese language and culture classes and activity clubs for children k-12. Language classes teach standard Mandarin, using the pinyin phonetic system and simplified Chinese characters. Culture classes include Chinese dancing, drawing, paper crafts, chess, tai chi, Chinese music, and Chinese history.
Weekend program: Classes and clubs are held on Saturday mornings.
Greater Boston Chinese Cultural Association – Huaxin Chinese Language School
Location: 437 Cherry St., West Newton, MA
Classes for children and adults in Chinese language, culture, history and traditions. Mandarin Chinese classes are available for children age 3 and up and for adults; cultural classes in painting, arts and crafts, Chinese songs, music, dancing, cooking are also available.
Weekend, Afterschool, and Weekday Classes : Language and culture classes for children and adults are held on Sundays, after school, and on weekday evenings.
Kwong Kow School
Location: 87 Tyler Street, Boston, MA (Chinatown)
Chinese language and cultural programs in both Mandarin and Cantonese for preschoolers through adults. Afterschool Program: Mandarin and Cantonese classes and Chinese cultural activities for children in kindergarten through 5th grade, Monday through Friday, 4:00 – 6:00pm.
Weekend Programs : Saturday and Sunday classes in Mandarin and Cantonese, Chinese painting, folk dance, dulcimer and drum, kung fu and an English/math tutorial program.
The Malden Chinese Language School
Location: 26 Washington St, Malden, MA (Saint Paul’s Parish, Malden)
Chinese language and cultural classes for children and adults
Weekend classes : Classes in Chinese, math, art and dance for children Saturday mornings and afternoons and Sunday afternoons; Chinese classes for adults Saturday evenings.
Newton Chinese Language School
School Location: F.A. Day Middle School, 21 Minot Place, Newtonville, MA
One of Greater Boston’s oldest and largest Chinese schools. Programs in Chinese language and culture for children in kindergarten through 10th grade and for adults. Cultural classes include folk dancing, Chinese painting, and martial arts.
Weekend programs: Classes are held on Sunday afternoons.
Sharon Chinese School
Program location: Canton High School
Classes in Chinese language, drawing, math, and martial arts for children age 3 through teenagers.
Weekend classes: Classes are held on Saturdays.
Wellesley Chinese Language School
Program location: Wellesley Congregational (Village) Church in Wellesley, across Rt. 16 from the post office.
Classes for children and adults of all levels in Chinese language and culture including Chinese painting, folk dance, gong fu, chess and more.
Weekend classes: Sunday afternoons 1:30 – 4:30
Winchester School of Chinese Culture
Program location: Winchester, MA
Chinese language and culture classes for children 3 and older.
Weekend Program – Sunday morning classes in language and culture are for children 3 and older (location: Lynch Elementary School, 19 Brantwood Road)
Afterschool Program for children in kindergarten through 5th grade (location: 478 Main Street). Winchester public school bus drops off the children at the location after school.
Derry Chinese School – may no longer be in operation
Program Location: Marion Gerrish Community Center, Derry, NH.
Teaches Chinese primarily as a second language and exposes students age 3 through adult to Chinese culture
Weekend Program: Chinese classes are held on Saturday mornings year-round.
New Hampshire Chinese School
Concord Location: West Congregational Church, 499 North State Street, Concord
Nashua Location: Girls Incorporated of NH, 27 Burke Street, Nashua
Manchester Location: Belknap Hall, Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester
Mandarin Chinese classes for all levels: a preschool Mandarin playgroup for children 3-5 years old, elementary Mandarin for children 5-11 years old, a new “Total Immersion Mandarin” program, and Chinese cultural classes in brush painting and calligraphy, Chinese chess, cooking, dance and tai chi.
Weekday, Evening and Saturday Classes: A variety of classes for adults, teens and children.
The China Institute at Bryant University
Location: Bryant University Campus, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI
Offers a a variety of Chinese language and culture programs and events to students, teachers, and the local community.
The Star Chinese Language School
Location: 333 Roosevelt Ave. Pawtucket, RI
Uses an activity-based curriculum to teach children Mandarin Chinese as a second language.
Weekend Program: Classes are held on Saturdays.
Asian Cultural Center of Vermont
Program location: Brattleboro, VT
Festivals, films, forums, exhibitions, presentations, and other community learning/sharing opportunities, that celebrate and uplift the vibrant cultures and peoples of Asia. Various classes are available.
Vermont Chinese Language School
Location: Burlington, VT
Learning about Chinese language and culture for children and adults
A number of organizations at New England colleges provide mentorship and playgroup opportunities for children adopted from China. The leadership of these groups tends to change frequently as students move through college, so please check directly with the organization listed for current information. Please note – many of these programs are currently on hiatus but we maintain their listings in case they are revived.
Yale – CASPY
Chinese Adopted Siblings Program for Youth (CASPY) at Yale University is a joint project of the Chinese American Students Association (CASA) and the Taiwanese American Society (TAS). CASPY is a bi-annual cultural event held on Yale’s campus that seeks to inform Chinese adoptees and their parents about Chinese culture. Two times a year, in the spring and the fall, they invite families to join a full day of fun activities and events in our Kids, Teens, and Parent Programs.
Adoptive Families at MIT: Big Sibling Program
This mentoring program provides one-to-one matches between MIT students and children adopted internationally or transracially. Each Big Sibling serves as a point of contact with the child’s cultural heritage, helps the child learn to navigate cultural issues, and is a resource in building a healthy identity.
Boston College Kuazi Program – Boston College students mentor CHinese adopted children from Greater Boston area with monthly events celebrating Chinese culture.
Boston University China Care Fund Mentorship Program
Contact: For information, contact the group at email@example.com or by phone at (773) 306-5011.
Program Location: Boston
BU’s China Care Fund (BUCCF) is launching a mentor/mentee program through which individual BU students will be matched with mentees. They invite participation by FCCNE families.
Harvard China Care, Harvard University: Saturday Dumplings Play Group and XiongDi JieMei Mentoring Program
Program Location: Harvard Square, Cambridge
Description: Saturday Dumplings Play Group: Brings children adopted from China and their families together with Harvard University students to learn about and share Chinese culture in a morning playgroup. Children of all ages are welcome, though most are 4-9. Parents are encouraged to stay to meet other adoptive parents.
XiongDi JieMei Mentoring Program : This “Brother and Sister” program fosters continued interest in Chinese culture for adopted children 9 and up. It pairs university students with children in a mentor-mentee relationship. Pairs spend time together at least once a week, keep in touch online or otherwise, and participate in fun monthly cultural activities for all participants in the program.
Wellesley College Asian Student Union: Meimei/Jiejie (Little Sister/Big Sister) Program
Joins members of Wellesley’s ASU with girls adopted from China.
Tufts University China Care Dumplings Group
The Dumplings Program is geared towards children ages 6-14 who have been adopted from China by U.S. families. Tufts China Care holds monthly events for the children and their parents in hopes of creating a support network for the families and their children. The children participate in a wide range of activities that have been created to emphasize on promoting and spreading their ethnic Chinese culture.
Dartmouth Asian Organization, Dartmouth College: Pals Mentoring Program
Description: Provides mentoring to kids who are of Asian descent and/or have an interest in being exposed to aspects of a variety of Asian cultures.Â DAO Pals pairs twoBig Pals with two Little Pals to ensure that at least one Big Pal will be available to spend time with the Little Pals. Little Pals have the opportunity both to build strong relationships with their older mentors and to develop a relationship with a peer who shares a similar background. DAO Pals hold events every other weekend to provide opportunities for the Pal groups to get to know one another other better.
China Care Brown: CareBears Play Group and China Care Brown Mentoring Program
Description: This student-run chapter of the China Care Foundation offers twoÂ programs:
CareBears Playgroup (for ages 7 and below) introduces children to Chinese folk and children’s songs, arts, music and crafts, basic spoken and written Chinese, food, traditional celebrations, and other cultural interests. For parents and siblings, it provides a comfortable setting for discussions and presentations on various aspects of Chinese culture.
China Care Brown Mentorship Program (for ages 7-12) fosters friendships betweenAsian Brown University students and Asian, predominantly Chinese, adopted children living in Rhode Island. Families can attend monthly meetings themed around Chinese culture. Families looking for a greater commitment can be paired with an Asian Brown University student and meet outside of the monthly meetings.