Students enrolled in the Foothill Chinese School in La Cañada Flintridge were busy working with construction paper during a class session Friday afternoon for a skill mastered centuries ago.
Chinese paper art, which dates back to ancient China, is one of many projects the school offers, allowing students to learn and preserve their Chinese heritage.
Founded in 2006 by four parents, the school teaches Mandarin and offers other cultural programs. The school began with only 10 students and now enrolls about 70 to 80 students. Classes are held Monday to Friday after regular school hours, up from one two-hour session on Thursday afternoons.
"I think everyone has some nature in them to learn another culture and another language," said Foothill Chinese School Principal and teacher Holly Huiyi Li. "The parents are so supportive. They think it's important for their kids to keep their Chinese culture."
The school provides full immersion in Chinese history, literature, art, games, plays and food. The nonprofit school is housed in five classrooms near the headquarters of the La Cañada Unified School District. The school previously had classrooms at the city's Community Center.