The Richmond Chinese School originated in the fall of 1973 from a modest class of seven students in Mrs. Judith Chu’s home. In February 1976, the school was officially established in the classrooms at St. Michael’s School. The twenty-eight students and four teachers adopted textbooks used in Taiwan to learn reading, writing, and speaking in Chinese. In addition language classes, they also learned Chinese cultures such as Chinese traditional songs and dance.
By early 1980s, the Chinese population in Richmond had grown dramatically. To accommodate the ever-expanding student body, the school moved to the St. Catherine’s School in 1988. Due to its growing size and influence in the Chinese community, the school began to organize events outside of the classrooms. These events include Lunar New Year celebration, summer concerts by Chinese musicians and summer picnics. Students also performed Chinese folk dances at the Children’s museum, Asian Festivals and the State Fair.
The year 2000 was a particularly successful one for the Richmond Chinese School. At that point, the school had grown to have 120 students in ten different levels of classes and three adult culture classes (flower arrangement, chi-kung, and Chinese painting). The Richmond Chinese School also helped organize Henrico County’s Dragon Year (Year 2000) celebration. This huge undertaking turned out to be a smashing success with about 9,500 people in attendance.
For the past thirty years, the Richmond Chinese School has had an enormous impact on both the Chinese and non-Chinese communities in central Virginia for her promoting the diversity and educating those who were interested in learning the Chinese language and culture. The success of the school was made possible because of the dedications of those who served as board members, principals, teachers and volunteers. We are looking forward to another thirty years of providing great services to our communities.