A group of seven high school students from Bowling Green and one from Louisville traveled to China as part of the WKU Confucius Institute’s second Summer Bridge Camp.
The Confucius Institute partnered this year with the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, which sent students Odici Halcomb, Mirriam Higgins, Jerodius Massey, Terione Patrick, Jakaliff Sublett, Ronale Morris-Favors and Jaquan Sept; and with the Crane House in Louisville, which sent student Turner Warren. The July 15-30 trip was led by Shannah Montgomery, Director of Education for the Housing Authority, and Terrill Martin, Associate Director of the Confucius Institute.
This year’s trip started in the Henan province, where group visited Luoyang along the Yellow River. There the students studied the area’s rich culture and visited the Sui Tang Botanical Garden and Longmen Grottoes, which is one of the three major treasure houses of stone carvings in China.
The group then traveled to Dengfeng, which is the home of the famous Shaolin Monastery, located in the Mount Song, one of the most sacred mountains in China. The trip concluded in Beijing with visits to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Heavenly Temple, Beijing Zoo, Famous Hutongs and the Forbidden City.
“While this trip was monumental in itself with the partnerships that were developed, this year marks another special moment in the history of the Confucius Institute at WKU,” Martin said. “This year marks the official first full year of the summer camps provided by the Confucius Institute at WKU.”
Since last July, the Confucius Institute has sent 93 individuals to China, he said.
Two camps were conducted in July 2011 – the first Adult Summer Camp in which 44 faculty, staff, students and community members traveled to Beijing and Baoding and the first Summer Bridge program that sent 10 students from the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science and director Tim Gott to Beijing and Tianjin.
In addition to this year’s Summer Bridge Camp, 28 individuals participated in the second Adult Summer Camp.
In 2013, the Confucius Institute is arranging to send a total of 68 Symphony at WKU students to China along with 44 alumni and donors. This trip will include tours in Beijing, Baoding, Shanghai and Xi’an.
The WKU-CI 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.