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From March 13 to March 16, 2014, the 2014 California Language Teachers’ Association Annual Conference was held at the San Diego Town and Country Hotel. There were hundreds of lectures and workshops offered during the Conference. The main theme of the Conference,” Technology: Bridge to Common Core”, was to provide insightful information to all the world language teachers the recent transition to Common Core Standards in California. Many teachers from all corners of California attended this conference to learn of the new rules and policy of the Common Core. They hoped to apply their newly learned knowledge to better their language education.
Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Outreach Director of LARC at SDSU, Dr. Norman Leonard, co-presented a lecture on the ‘Tian Dee Panda series’. They showcased the trilingual series of Tian Dee Panda instructional materials, Chinese, English, and Spanish, for K-1st grade, Pre-literate, and early-stage children. They also mentioned that these materials would be adapted in other less commonly taught languages in California, such as Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, and Persian. Many teachers were very impressed by these instructional materials. They hoped that different versions in other languages would be developed and published sooner to benefit more children.
In support of the Classics 4 Kids program, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University brought its own “Silk Road of China” program to Classics 4 Kids 2014 Special Presentation, “The Silk Road”. This program was shown to more than 5,000 students in San Diego during 5 shows on February 20, 21, and 23.
Classics 4 Kids is dedicated to educating children and the diverse communities in San Diego through music and arts. This program aims to provide students the opportunities to engage in creative and cultural experiences which help shape their future.
“The Silk Road of China” program CI/SDSU provided featured many aspects in Chinese culture and history that ‘silk’ had impacted. Led by the Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, 4 staff members from CI, adorned in exquisite silk outfits, were on stage to showcase many facets of Chinese culture. Each model also held in her hands a special artifact, such as an abacus, a Chinese Peking Opera face mask, a music bowl and a fan make of silk. Through the detailed narratives by Dr. Cheng, the audience was able to learn not only of the discovery of silk, how silk merchandise was brought over to Europe through the Silk Road route, and the significance of each artifact in the Chinese culture. The students’ eyes widened up as they listened to the fascinating stories; often the children burst out, ‘Wow!’ as they could hardly contain their excitement.
Other shows in the program included musicians from Italy, Turkey, Persia, India and Japan. They each introduced the music numbers played on ethnic music instruments from the region.
The Grand Finale of the program was the Lion Dance show performed by the White Dragon Martial Arts Dance Team.
On January 26, 2014 Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the celebration of the publishing of "A Legacy Magnified: A Generation Of Chinese Americans in Southern California 1980s to 2010s” held at the Chinese Bilingual School in San Diego.
Dr. Lilly Cheng spoke about the impact on the Chinese American society brought forth from this publication. The editor, May Chen, gave her speech as the concluding remarks at the event of the celebration. Several of the individuals who contributed to this publication who attended this celebration also shared their experience in the editing with the audience.
On the evening of January 25, 2014, San Diego Chinese Center, San Diego Chinese School and House of China co-hosted its annual Chinese New Year banquet at Ly’s Garden Restaurant. More than 500 community leaders and distinguished guests were present. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also attended this event in support of the Chinese community in San Diego.
The highlight of the evening’s entertainments was a culture show, “Silk Road of China”, produced by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Dr. Lilly Cheng gave an elaborate presentation in the beginning. She detailed the origin of Silk Road, its impact in Chinese history and the development of silk products to give the audience an in-depth knowledge on how the silk products had influenced many aspects of the Asian and Western culture. CI staff members and volunteers ascended to the stage in beautiful and elegant Chinese outfits. These models were holding various Chinese New Year auspicious items in their hands to deliver their New Year greetings to the audience.
CI/SDSU also displayed posters depicting 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, The Progress of Silk Production, and the Evolution of Chinese Characters, specifically of character’丝’.The posters provided the audience a deeper understanding of silk, its impact on Chinese history and culture. Other entertainment programs in the evening included the lion dance performed by the San Diego Chinese Benevolent Association; and Magic Show.
The gala ended on a high note with guests wishing one another a prosperous new year.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the lecture, “Ah Quin: Life, Leadership, & Legacy “at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The lecture was presented by Curator of Chinese American History, Mr. Murray Lee. Mr. Ah Quin was once considered the Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown in the 19th century.
This exhibit follows Ah Quin from his beginnings at a missionary school in Guangzhou; through the menial servitude he experienced in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and a coal mining camp in Alaska; his journey finally brought him to the Red Light District of San Diego. With his fluency in English, he acted as a recruit scout for the US Railways for Chinese labor. In addition to offer his assistance in many aspects for these laborers, he also taught them English. Through his life, he was well respected by the community, which earned him the unofficial title, the “Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown”.
This presentation commemorated the 100th anniversary of Ah Quin’s untimely death in 1914. Many of his descendants attended the event in honor of him who provided a unique contribution to early Chinese American history.
Dr. Lilly Cheng gave concluding remarks and answered inquiries about Chinese names, dialects and history.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Riverview Elementary & International Academy hosted its Chinese New Year celebration at Tierra del Sol Middle School. More than 500 students, parents and teachers participated at this event, including Principal Scott Goergen of Tierra Del So Middle School; Riverview PTSA President Mrs. Marisa Robertson; and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng.
The program included many song and dance shows by the various grade levels of Riverview students, and a performance by Tierra del Sol Middle School students. Led by their teachers, students from each grade level came on stage for a variety of Chinese songs. CI at SDSU presented a Chinese Culture Show “Silk Road to China”. Many CI staff members and volunteers modeled numerous gorgeous, exquisite Chinese outfits, showcasing the evolution of silk clothing. The audience was in awe by the elaborate collection of Chinese garments. In addition, the audience was able to acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese culture by Dr. Cheng’s explicit narration. The grand finale was a Lion Dance performed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
Chinese teachers from Riverview Elementary School provided Chinese calligraphy demonstration, Chinese paper-cut art craft, and Beijing Opera masks for a hands-on activity for all to experience at the celebration.
The event not only featured the Mandarin proficiency of the Riverview students, but introduced many aspects of Chinese culture to the crowd, enticing their interests the Chinese language and culture.
On January 18, 2014, Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society held its Casino Night Gala. This Gala was held to raise fund for its Youth Outreach Program which aimed to help under-privileged children the opportunity to discover the benefits of art, music, and cultural programs.
Led by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, many CI staff arrived early at the event to help with the set up. Throughout the evening, guests were invited to try their luck at the gaming tables, tour the facility, learn about other programs offered by the Three Treasure, including Community Services, Kung Fu massage by the shifu, martial arts and lion dance.
The event was attended by hundreds of community supporters.
On January 17, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese New Year banquet, hosted by ‘Families with Children from China-San Diego’ (FCC-SD) in celebration of the coming Lunar New Year. The guest speaker featured at the banquet celebration was Jenni “Fang” Lee, a woman adopted from China at a young age who shared on her experience at the event. She would be hosting a workshop for the FCCSD youths and parents on January 18 and 19th.
FCC-SD is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes. More specifically: its mission is to provide educational, cultural, and informational resources; offer activities and services to families with adopted children from China, or considering adoption from China. FCCSD also aims to promote awareness and appreciation of Chinese culture in children, strengthening their ties to the Chinese heritage; and to advocate for and support children remaining in orphanages in China.