Hayden Choi ’27 recently earned a Gold Award in the 20th Annual National Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) essay contest.
Working with the broad theme “Understanding One Another, Caring for One Another,” CLASS developed grade-specific assignments that asked students to consider “ways to love and support all members of our communities, particularly those who are marginalized or misunderstood.” Competing in the high school (grades 9 through 12) category, Hayden was charged with analyzing the challenges faced by individuals or groups “due to their differences,” and discussing injustices he may have observed or experienced in his own community. He was also asked to consider how individuals, groups, or institutions can “foster an atmosphere that welcomes and respects everyone” in response to those injustices.
“My essay was about policies that should be enacted in schools for the gradual inclusion and acceptance of mixed-race Koreans in Korea,” says Hayden. “Such policies include consequences for those who speak or act negatively against such mixed-race Koreans, and educating students from a young age to accept mixed-race Koreans.”
Established in 1987, CLASS works to advance and promote the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture at PreK-12 schools in the United States, and to foster a national network for exchanging information, ideas, and curricular resources related to the teaching of Chinese language and culture. CLASS was one of the principal organizations involved in the development of the national standards for foreign language learning.