Learning Mandarin Chinese is no easy task, but several Staunton students are not only learning the language but having fun while doing it.
It's a new after school club, and best friends Antonio Anderson and Tyler Bouthillier want to become more culturally aware.
"I like learning about different cultures, and it's more interesting," says Anderson.
Anderson's attitude exemplifies what education should be, according to Staunton City Schools Superintendent Steve Nichols.
"We've got kids excited about learning for the right reasons, and that is to grow themselves personally," comments Nichols.
However, in a time of tight budgets, the club is also providing something the school's bottom line just couldn't afford right now.
"Obviously in this environment, I can't add another language, so I suggested what about we work to get a China club," explains Nichols.
The Chinese government donated $5,000 worth of materials. In addition to learning about another culture, speaking Chinese is a very marketable skill, which club facilitator Alli Wong wants students to know.
"If you learn to speak Chinese, you can really be able to find a job in the future," says Wong.
"If I go to China and try to get my degree in anything Chinese, I'll be ready," adds Bouthillier.
The Chinese club is also open to members of the public. It meets every Wednesday afternoon in the library at Robert E. Lee High School.
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