Two More Confucius Classrooms Established in the Tampa Bay Area
September 22, 2013

After continuous collaborations with the Tampa Bay K-12 school, the USF Confucius Institute recently received approval to establish two more Confucius Classrooms at the Hillsborough County Schools and the Pine View School of Sarasota County. Before this, we established Florida’s first Confucius Classroom at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Pinellas County. The three Confucius Classrooms coincide with the three USF campuses in the three counties, and will lead to more opportunities in Chinese language and culture programs in the region.

Modeling from the concept of Confucius Institute, a Confucius Classroom is a partnership between one or a cluster of K-12 schools in the U.S. and a matching school in China, with technical support from the USF Confucius Institute. The benefits of a Confucius Classroom include the start-fund of $10,000 and annual support based on mutual agreement, and free materials in learning Chinese language and culture. The Classrooms can initiate study trips to China and request guest teachers if there is a need. However, the local schools hosting the Confucius Classrooms have total control over the curriculum and the use of grant fund.

We appreciate strong support and collaborations from the school administrators instrumental to the Confucius Classrooms: Dr. Solomon Lowery (Principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School), Janet Kucerik (World Language Supervisor of Pinellas County Schools), Jennifer Freeman (Assistant Principal of Pine View School), and Melissa Morgado (World Language Supervisor of Hillsborough County Schools). Appreciation also goes to the support from Hanban and USF.

The USF Vice Provost (Dr. Roger Brindley) and CI Director (Kun Shi) attended the Hillsborough County School Board meeting of recognition on September 17, and will be present at the opening ceremony of the Confucius Classroom of Pine View School in Sarasota on October 29.

Plaque of the Confucius Classroom of the Pine View School

Present at the Hillsborough County Schools Board meeting of recognition on September 17, 2013 (L to R): Carol Kurdell, School Board Vice Chair; Kun Shi, CI Director; MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent; Owen Young, Principal of Middleton High School; Carla White, Assistant Principal of Ferrell Middle School; Patty Duann, Chinese Teacher; John Haley, Principal of Franklin Middle School; Penny Yang, Chinese teacher; and Dr. Roger Brindley, Vice Provost and Associate VP of the USF World.