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Confucius Institute supports Newspapers in Education program

This year the Confucius Institute has supported both Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School and Jody Richards Elementary School by sponsoring the Newspapers in Education initiative.

Newspapers in Education is a non-profit 501c(3) organization, which has been working with Kentucky teachers for more than 22 years. Using the Daily News in the classroom, in a paper and/or eEDITION format, helps students remember tomorrow what teachers teach them today.

Ms. Yuan Rujie demonstrates Kung Fu techniques. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

Ms. Yuan Rujie demonstrates Kung Fu techniques. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

In January, the Confucius Institute visited the fifth-grade classroom of Ms. Correa at Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School. The students learned a few Kung fu moves and calligraphy, conducted by Ms. Yuan Rujie, a visiting scholar at the Confucius Institute at WKU. “Thank you so much for sponsoring my class for our weekly newspapers! I am the Social Studies and Writing teacher for third, fourth, and fifth graders and we use the newspaper to look at examples of great writing techniques, as well as keeping up to date with what is happening in our world today. The students also really enjoy completing the Kid Scoop. Thank you for your support of my students’ learning,” Ms. Correa said.

Ms. Wang Chunliu (Jasmine) teaches a student the proper calligraphy technique. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

Ms. Wang Chunliu (Jasmine) teaches a student the proper calligraphy technique. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

On April 9, the Confucius Institute visited the sixth-grade classroom of Mrs. Anderson at Jody Richards Elementary School. Led by Confucius Institute teachers, Ms. Wang Chunliu (Jasmine), and Ms. Yang Xiaoye (Lydia), they taught Chinese calligraphy and showed students the traditional way to make ink from rubbing stones with water.  “We used the newspapers this year to complete activities and assignments that focus on real world reading, and we will soon be starting a project on identifying the different styles of writing that can be found in newspapers,” Mrs. Anderson said.

Amber Johnson (left), a student at Greenwood High School, was selected as the winner of the 2013 Chinese Poster Design Competition. She is pictured with Chinese teacher Shana Ma.

Amber Johnson (left), a student at Greenwood High School, was selected as the winner of the 2013 Chinese Poster Design Competition. She is pictured with Chinese teacher Shana Ma.

The Confucius Institute is committed to its educational outreach initiatives, and providing sponsorships is nothing new for the Confucius Institute. “For the past two years, the Confucius Institue has provided over $5,000 in sponsorship funds that support a myriad of Asian-themed activities,” said Terrill Maritn, associate director for the Confucius Institute. “This year alone, the CI conducted a Chinese Poster Design Competition, in which Amber Johnson, a high school student from Greenwood High School, won the competition. She won a $2,356 scholarship, which is an all expenses paid trip to China this July as part of the Confucius Institute’s 3rd Annual China Summer Bridge Program.”

The mission of the Confucius Institute is to extend its programming into as many school districts and schools as possible throughout the state of Kentucky. The CI hosts 33 teachers in 41 schools across the Kentucky area this year. “Although we are in eight schools in elementary, middle and high school sin the Bowling Green and Warren County area, our mission is to extend our program into every school, even those not presently participating in our Chinese language and culture program,”  said Betty Yu, associate director for the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute worked with students at Jody Richards Elementary School. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

The Confucius Institute worked with students at Jody Richards Elementary School. (Photo by Tina Hargett)

“Supporting the needs of the children in our community is very important, and exposing them to something new is equally rewarding,” Martin said. “This sponsorship is two-fold; on one hand we sponsor the newspaper in the classroom, which provides new and relevant topics, but on the other, the CI teachers come into the schools and teach the children something totally new to them. It’s a win-win for all involved, and one that the CI at WKU will continue to support.”

The CI at WKU and Hanban, China’s Ministry of Education, work to promote understanding of the Chinese language and culture through children’s programming, training courses, cultural workshops and community events. Together, these organizations have Introduced fully articulated K-16 instruction in Modern Standard Chinese into local school systems, serve as a regional center for Chinese teacher training and Chinese curriculum development, and build connections and partnerships between Kentucky and China.

Contact:  Betty Yu (270)745-2836 or Terrill Martin (270) 745-2530.

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