Hawaii's Confucius Institute is planning to introduce Chinese language courses to four primary schools in the state this fall.
The institute, established at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006, is already conducting the course in one high school.
Li Qikeng, dean of the institute, said its aim is to pass Chinese language and culture to students, and work with other local Chinese language education bodies in the state.
"We even support them by providing them with our textbooks," Li said.
The institute, sponsored by Beijing Foreign Studies University, has three enrollment periods a year, with 30 students in each class.
Li said most people enroll to improve their language skills for professional reasons.
However, there are also retirees such as Loy Fook Leu, 93, who has been driving to the classes for the past five years regularly on Sundays for the classes.
Chinese language classes are well received in Hawaii where 4.1 percent of its population is ethnic Chinese.
The state has a long history of Chinese education, with the primary focus on Cantonese as the majority of immigrants came from China's southern province of Guangdong.
(China Daily April 2, 2011)