Successful CI Day at the University of South Florida (USF)
October 2, 2014
The USF Confucius Institute completed its CI Day Celebration with numerous exciting stories from more than 500 participants. The major part of the CI Day event was on Friday, September 26, at the USF Alumni Center Traditions Hall. More than 500 participants attended the event, including 300 from six K-12 schools in the Tampa Bay region. Many came from over one hour drive away. Related to the CI Day celebration, we invited General Loeffke, a hero in war and peace, to speak on the importance of peaceful relationship between China and the United States.
The CI Day event lasted four hours from 10:00am to 2:00pm, and included a cultural performance and hands-on experience such as calligraphy, paper-cutting, music, martial arts, tea-tasting and Chinese yoyo. Vice President Thomas Miller welcomed everyone at the opening, and later Dr. Kiki Caruson cut the 10th anniversary birthday cake with CI Directors Kun Shi and Mingjian Zhang. Teachers from Hillsborough Public Schools, Pine View School, Thurgood Marshall MS, Safety Harbor MS and Countryside HS were recognized with gift bags as appreciation for their contribution to the Chinese programs. All participants received culturally memorable items. The students and their parents and chaperones were particularly thrilled by the lion dance and cultural performances. (Lion dance and martial arts by Mt. Song Martial Arts Academy and Master SHI De Cheng from the Shaolin Temple; guzheng and erhu music by Rui Yang and Luo Wu; bamboo flute by Pengfei Liang, and Chinese yoyo by Casper Yen.) The middle school students from Pine View School did an excellent performance in Chinese only after a few months of learning it.
The event was a success because of support from USF World and many CI supporters, including Dr. Roger Brindley (Vice Provost and AVP for USF World), Dr. Boo Kwa (CI Board member and Associate Dean for International Programs, College of Public Health), Dr. Stephen P. Covert (Principal, Pine View School) and Melissa Morgado (Supervisor of World Languages, Hillsborough County Public Schools).
The CI Day event also became a celebration of the Teachers Day in China in memory of the 2564th birthday of the great Chinese philosopher and educator. All participants were impressed by the event and learning experience. The CI staff and USF student volunteers are happy with the results. This will have a lasting impact on the K-12 students and community members in Chinese language education and cultural exchange.
View photos of this event on our Facebook page here.