TULSA, Okla. — The United States Heartland China Association (USHCA) announced their U.S. Heartland Chinese Teacher Award winners on Friday.
Three teachers were awarded and among the three, was Tulsa’s Dr. Alpha Edens. The award is gifted to those who are Chinese language teaching individuals and exhibit great effort in building cultural bridges using language.
“World languages are best taught early, but few American schools make it part of their K-12 curriculum. For this reason, we are proud to honor the teachers who have championed and built successful Chinese language programs at their schools and districts across the heartland region,” said USHCA Chairman and CEO, Former Governor of Missouri Bob Holden.
Dr. Alpha Edens teaches Chinese at Holland Hall Upper School and the University of Oklahoma’s summer programs for K-8 students. She also chairs the Tulsa-Beihai Sister City Partnership at the Tulsa Global Alliance. Edens received recommendations from OU and the Tulsa Global Alliance for this award.
Dr. Edens’ students said they are grateful for her mentorship, and shared their own experiences.
“Dr. Edens creates a classroom environment where many different types of students can thrive. She challenges us to enter contests and compete with our own Chinese learning,” Luke Nowlin at Holland Hall’s Upper School said. “Last spring, she encouraged me to enter my poem, ‘shin shia cho doun’ into a national Chinese writing competition. Through teaching and guidance, my work won first prize in that competition.”
Five finalists were recognized during the award ceremony. Three teachers were awarded the U.S. Heartland Chinese Teacher Award and two were awarded the People’s Choice Award, all five also receiving a cash grant.
To learn more about the U.S. Heartland Chinese Teacher Award, click here.
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