MILLBURN, NJ – A new education institute focusing on Chinese culture and language was announced on Tuesday at the Bauer Center.  The newly formed New Jersey Chinese Culture Academy (NJCCA) is based in Millburn and will be open to both township residents and non-residents once classes begin.

In addition to Chinese language classes NJCCA intends to offer Tai Chi and Kung Fu classes, activities for seniors, public speaking and cultural events for all ages.  There will also be a  “Chinese as a Second Language” program offered for adults seeking to learn the language.  Registration for most activities is anticipated to begin this May.

Ben Zhang, Short Hills resident and area real estate broker, will be the inaugural president of the academy.  He and several of his colleagues have been developing the idea of a Chinese cultural center for about a year, primarily driven by the limited number of Chinese language learning options in the area.

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A former principal of the Livingston Huaxia Chinese School, Zhang believes that parents need more availability and options than what his former school could provide.  With individual donations and support from local business owners, NJCCA formally organized.  The first major initiative will be to kick-start the youth language program, which already has approximately 150-200 interested students.

“This has been a lot of hard work but we have a great team.  We are very excited about the various programs that we intend to offer.” Said Zhang.

Specific program announcements will be made over the next two months.