In the Year of the Tiger — an animal that connotes strength and courage — it seems fitting that a vlog about visiting Central Park Zoo earned kudos in the 2021 National Chinese Vlog Competition: Chinese & Me!
In fact, the entry entitled “A Day at the Zoo,” created by tenth graders Sophia Lebeau Toung and Jay Huennekens, won “Best Vlog” in the grades 9-12 category!
Chinese & Me! is an annual K-12 vlog competition, hosted by Columbia University’s National Resource Center and the Hunter College Chinese Flagship Center, which invites students to share their stories and experiences as a means of showcasing their language learning and skills. With more than 100 submissions from over 41 schools across 15 states, the great work that Sophia and Jay did collaboratively duly impressed the judges!
“With compassion for animals, Sophia and Jay were keen to observe the impact of the pandemic on the zoo animals and chose to share knowledge about these animals to call for more responsible visitors in a fun vlog format,” said Jialu Du, Mandarin teacher. “I am proud to see how they gained more confidence in Mandarin by practicing risk-taking beyond the classroom and enjoyed the language.”
Sophia and Jay recently learned the results together during the virtual awards ceremony. Previously, they had won “Best Chinese Speakers” in Dwight’s own grades 8-10 vlog competition. Joining them were:
- Naila Broening-Chai '26, who won “Best Vlog” (Bentley House) for A Swim through New York
- Lulu Deyer ’25 and Lara Oosthuizen ’25, who won “Best Vlog” (Franklin House) for Trying New York City's Spiciest Chinese Dishes!
- Matt Hymes ’24, who won “Best Filmmaking and Technical Skills” (Franklin House) for The Dangers of Lizardmen
Congratulations to them — and to our national winners! 祝贺他们!