These Utah kids sent China's President Xi Jinping letters, and he wrote back
Updated 04:48, 27-Feb-2020

Fourth graders in a Chinese-language immersion program in Utah recently got a letter from a very important person.

Last month, some students at Cascade Elementary School in Orem, Utah, sent China's President Xi Jinping 50 Chinese New Year cards.

And Xi Jinping recently wrote back. 

"China, like the United States, is a very big country... We have a civilization that is  over 5,000 years old," Xi wrote.

"The Chinese people, like  the American people, are warm hearted and friendly. By learning it you may know more about Chinese history and culture."

The kids have been studying Chinese since they were in first grade.

Utah Chinese Dual Language Immersion Director Stacy Lyon said the language immersion programs are thanks to the efforts of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. 

Huntsman spoke Mandarin, and in 2008, he established the program to help students learn more foreign language to better engage in the world and improve the state's economy. 

According to assessments, the students in the immersion programs perform the same or better than non-immersion students in the English language.