Washington Association for Chinese Education (WACE) launched its first annual scholarship competition last Monday with the grand prize of an iPad 2 (or the cash equivalent), as part of its initiative to create statewide awareness of Chinese language and culture. This is a grassroots competition organized by students for students on today’s most popular social media. Governor Christine O. Gregoire expressed her support for the event today in a letter.

“I applaud WACE for its commitment to educating students about the benefits of learning Chinese,” Gregoire said, “I hope the ‘Why Learn Chinese Language’ initiative engages our youth in a meaningful dialogue on this important topic.”

WACE’s goal is to help students in America gain the competitive edge and worldwide perspective needed to succeed in the dynamic global environment of the 21st century, in which China plays an increasingly bigger role each day.

WACE is inviting middle to high school students from across the State of Washington to express their interest in or knowledge of Chinese culture and language through either:

— A written entry: an essay, poem, or song (300 to 500 words), or
— A video entry: of a song, poem, speech, or another creative format (5 minutes max)

Students don’t even need to know Chinese to enter, because the entries must be IN ENGLISH. The entry must be original, submitted ONLINE ONLY between October 1–31, 2011, and address the question: “Why should we learn Chinese?” Each contestant can submit only one entry individually or with a group.

Winners will be announced online by November 10, 2011, with the awards ceremony held on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at the Seattle Chinese Garden from 2:00-3:30 pm.

Please visit https://www.waceducation.weebly.com for more information on how to participate in the competition.

A panel of judges composed of certified teachers and professionals with China experience will review all entries for superior ideas and content and select one grand prize winner, two runner ups, and three honorable mentions.  All six winners will receive cash awards ranging up to $500—with an iPad 2 or the cash equivalent as the grand prize—along with an honorary plaque an的an invitation to the awards ceremony at the Seattle Chinese Garden, where they will get a chance to meet business leaders and public officials from all over the state.

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WACE is a student-run, nonprofit organization (501c3 pending) dedicated to generating interest in learning Chinese, helping students understand China, and bringing Chinese programs into more Washington schools – the only organization of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

WACE’s sponsors and partner organizations include the Seattle Chinese Garden, Washington State China Relations Council, Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association, Confucius Institute of Washington, Northwest Chinese School, National Association of Chinese Americans, Chinese Education Services, Microsoft CHIME, Hong Kong Association of Washington, and Evergreen Bilingual Institute.

Other Supporting Organizations include Asia Society, Teachers of a Critical Language Program, Spokane Chinese Dance Association, Chinese Coalition, Skyline Chinese Cultural Club, and Newport High School Chinese Club.

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