USF Confucius Institute Established the 4th Confucius Classroom
March 15, 2017

A year ago the USF Confucius Institute (CI) helped Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School (SSES) to apply for a Confucius Classroom (CC) from the CI Headquarters, which provides support to Chinese language programs at K-12 schools and colleges. The CC agreement was signed by USF and SSES last October, and on March 10, 2017, the CC was officially opened when Dr. Janet Pullen (Head of SSES) and Kun Shi (USF CI Director) unveiled the CC plaque. More than 300 students and parents participated in the opening ceremony. Dr. Pat Wilson from the USF Sarasota-Manatee School of Education and CI staff were there to offer congratulations.

With the vision for global education by Dr. Pullen, SSES began its Chinese language program nine years ago. Today, about 120 students are enrolled in the Chinese program, taught by Crystal (Xia) Zhang and Christina (Yang) Yu. Some of the students performed short plays in Chinese and staged their talents related to Chinese culture at the opening ceremony. The audience was thrilled by the lively lion dance and martial arts performed by the Mt. Song Martial Arts Academy.

SSES-CC is the fourth Confucius Classroom associated with the USF Confucius Institute and located in Manatee County. The other three are in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties. They match well with the USF campuses in these counties and serve as a network for the USF System outreach to K-12 schools. The CC is expected to help SSES to expand and strengthen its Chinese programs.

SSES-CC Plaque Unveiling

SSES-CC Opening Ceremony (group)

Fan and Flag Dance by Students

CC Opening Ceremony with the Lion

CC agreement signed by Drs. Brindley and Pullen

A video of the CC opening ceremony is available here: Confucius Classroom Ceremony