USF World News
USF-CI Co-sponsored Events at Two Middle Schools
May 31, 2011
USF-CI has been consistently supporting K-12 Chinese programs in the past, including teacher workshops and a statewide conference on February 18, 2011 (report Here). On May 26, we reached a higher level by co-hosting events at two middle schools of the Pinellas County School District.
After much preparation and coordination with the Chinese language teachers at the schools, the entire CI staff contributed to the full-day outreach to the K-12 schools. Among the activities we provided were: Chinese learning experience by Ryan Walsh, pipa music by Ms. Jianghua Zou, quiz of Chinese cultures (with prizes) by Professors Xiaomei Zu and Mingzhao Hu, and promotion of CI programs and CI-Online resources by Director Kun Shi. (The new CI Associate Director, Prof. Jingrong Wang, also participated as an observer.) About 100 students, school staff and family members at both schools participated in the events.
We first went to Thurgood Marshall Middle School, which became Florida’s first Confucius Classroom partnering with the USF-CI. Its leadership is visionary in operating the Chinese program and is expanding it into other curricula within the school. Currently, 85 students are enrolled in the Chinese language program, and the school has a plan to help the students to continue learning Chinese in their community high school. We received a warm welcome by the students, Principal Dr. Dallas Jackson, Assistant Principal Linda Burris, and the Chinese teacher Annette (Duoduo) Xu. We did the activities listed above, and observed the students’ performance in Chinese. The students’ performance and knowledge about China are impressive.
Then we rushed to Safety Harbor Middle School to co-host the graduating ceremony for some thirty 8th graders who studied Chinese. The Chinese teacher Yee-chen Robson and Director Kun Shi planned a program that put the students’ performance and CI activities side by side. The students enjoyed everything, especially the pipa music and the quiz about Chinese cultures. We also enjoyed the students’ performance, such as the fan dance and a story in Chinese. Some students and parents were impressed by the USF Chinese programs and interested in the StarTalk Chinese Academy (a program to be operated by the USF Department of World Languages in collaboration with the Confucius Institute).
The initial feedback for the USF-CI outreach to K-12 schools is so positive that we plan to do more as the new school year starts in the fall. Such outreach activities will play an important role in supporting the Chinese language programs in Florida schools.
(Report by the Confucius Institute at the University of South Florida)
Please view the links below for additional stories covering this event.