La Cañada has several types of schools, with multiple elementary and high schools, public and private. However, one school stands apart from the others: More than five years ago, four mothers began the Foothill Chinese School, the only one of its kind in the city.
"Basically, the thinking was they should form a Chinese school to try and spread the Chinese culture and teach children Chinese," said Liping Fan, a member of the school's board.
They started out with about 10 students. Now anywhere from 70 to 80 students participate in the school's program at a cost of about $1,100 per school year. Originally, the school offered a single two-hour session on Thursday afternoons. Today there are classes offered Monday through Friday after regular school hours.
Foothill Chinese School students are taught how to read, write and speak Chinese in traditional classroom experience. They are also exposed to other aspects of Chinese culture, including art, dance and food, through a number of hands-on activities.