NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas–ILTexas College Station K-8 student Tatum Howell won 1st place at the seventh annual Chinese Bridge Competition on Saturday, April 30. The event was held at the ILTexas North Richland Hills K-8 campus and hosted by ILTexas Global in association with the Confucius Classroom Coordination Office (CCCO).

The second grader performed a traditional Chinese fan dance, puppet demonstration, as well as a cover of the Chinese Mandarin ‘Thank You’ song, ‘Xie Xie Ni.” 

Jiahui Yang, Howell's Chinese instructor at ILTexas CSK8, had been preparing for the Bridge competition with her for nearly four months. 

“We basically did practice after school, sometimes at campus, and sometimes online with the support and observation of her parents,” Yang said. “There’s nothing more purer, therapeutic and satisfying than seeing [Tatum] smiling with happiness and accomplishment.”

As for Howell’s mother, Valerie Howell, her first place win was unexpected.

“When [Tatum's] name was called as number one we were speechless, surprised, shocked, and amazed at our talented girl,” she said. “It never occurred to her that she could actually be the winner [and] seeing her reaction to hearing her name was truly priceless and something I’ll never forget.” 

Nineteen finalists from public charters in the Dallas and Houston areas competed in the competition where they demonstrated language and cultural proficiency. Performances ranged from traditional Chinese dances and karaoke sing-alongs to Chinese yo-yo demonstrations, instrument playing, and spoken word poems. 

Nine students from ILTexas took home trophies for 1st, 2nd, and third place with Howell as the first place winner of the group. 

The competition was the first in-person event the ILTexas CCCO has held since the 2020 pandemic. It was also the first event the organization hosted as the Seventh US Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition site according to Helen He, director of the CCCO at ILTexas Global. 

“Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition is an iconic event for Chinese learners all over the world to showcase their Chinese language ability and express their understanding and passion for the culture through talent shows,” she said. “Students definitely will grow from competitions like these [and] will also see the fruit of their learning and be encouraged to pursue their dreams with the Chinese language.”

The first-place winner from each group will enter the International Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition in China held in August and September this year. 

See the full list of winners here:

K-8 Group





First Prize

 Tatum Howell ILTexas College Station  K8                                     Jiahui Yang

Second Prize

 Kirsten Santos ILTexas Katy K8

 Lanzhi Jiang


 Yara Perez ILTexas Lancaster K8  

Third Prize

 Mateo     Santamaria     Monterrubio ILTexas Lancaster K8

 Jibao Wu

   Sye Owens ILTexas Katy K8

 Lanzhi Jiang


 Enya Rosales

ILTexas Garland K8  Mia Yu

High School Group





First Prize

 Hilton Sampson

St. Mark's School of  Texas

Chia-Jung Chiang

Second Prize

 Sarah   Abramovitz  

Carroll High School

Yuhsin Lee


 Nathania Kwik

ILTexas Katy
Westpark High


Hua Xiao


Third Prize

 Sally Qalawi

ILTexas Lancaster Desoto High School

Yan Huang


Nicole Duong

L.D. Bell High School

Qing Li


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