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On December 4, 2011, the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) held a Grand Opening event for the San Diego Chapter at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. CI Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, the APAPA-SDC chair and several CI volunteers were present to support this special function.
This premiere event saw California State Senator Mark Wyland as the keynote speaker. Among other speakers were Assembly members Jim Nielsen and Mike Eng, San Diego County Supervisor, Ron Roberts and APAPA-SDC Honorary Chair, Tom Ham…etc. More than 100 people attended the meeting.
The purpose of this event was to introduce APAPA’s San Diego Chapter to the community and to share their mission of empowering Asian Pacific Islander Americans in “civic and public affairs through education, active participation, and leadership development.”
On December 1, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng served as a member of the panel in the California School Boards Association conference held at the San Diego Convention Center. This CSBA meeting brought together all representatives of California’s over 1000 school districts in order to provide advocacy and policy analysis for public educators and students in California. Members of the panel included Randy Ward, Superintendent of the County Board of Education, Brain Bristol, Superintendent of Lakeside School District, Gela Cook, Board member of Lakeside School District and Olympia Kyrikidis, Principal of Riverview International Academy. The topic of the panel was of Trilingual Education.
From November 25 to November 27, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese Language Teaching in the Digital Age Conference held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Both Dr. Lilly Cheng and Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School were invited to give a presentation on the topic of Teaching Chinese in the 21st Century. Over 200 participants from around the world attended the conference. Dr. Lilly Cheng also served as a member of the planning committee, a panel chair and a judge for the youth scholarship.
On November 18, 2011, Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus meeting at the ASHA convention. Professor Jean Torng presented her work with the aboriginal people in the mountains of Taiwan and Dr. Cheng presented the Asian Pacific Conference on Speech, Language and Hearing.
On November 17, 2011, Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Nancy Lewis and Shari Robertson presented a short course on Global Competence at the ASHA convention which was held from Nov. 17-19 at San Diego Convention Center. The ASHA Convention is the premier annual event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. More than 12,000 experts attended the conference this year.
On November 17, 2011, Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng was recognized by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) President Paul Rao at the opening ceremony of the annual convention of ASHA. The recognition focused on Dr. Cheng's work in cultural communication and being a cultural ambassador.
On November 15, 2011, co-sponsored by CI/SDSU, Manhattan Beach Middle Schooled staged the plaque ceremony to celebrate its Confucius Classroom accreditation. Many distinguished guests were present to join in this wonderful event, including Mayor of Manhattan Beach City, Mr. Nicholas W. Tell, Superintendent of Manhattan Beach School District, Dr. Michael D. Matthews, Executive Director of Educational Services at MBUSB, Ms. Carolyn Seaton, Superintendent of Hacienda Heights La Puente School District, Mr. Norman Hsu, and Education Consul from the Los Angeles Consul General Office, Ms. Cuiying Xu.
The ceremony started promptly at 3:30PM at Manhattan Beach Middle School. After Principal John Jackson opened the afternoon’s program by introducing the honored guests, he invited Superintendent Matthews and Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, to the podium to unveil the beautiful golden plaque bearing the title, “Confucius Classroom at Manhattan Beach Middle School”. More than 75 people in the audience, including supportive parents, students, roared with delight. The students in the symphony and choir group at MBMS provided live entertainment for the guests; they were also marveled by the singing, in perfect Chinese pronunciation, from the students of the newly established Chinese Club. At the end, Dr. Cheng’s demonstration of Chinese calligraphy left the guests in awe.
Both Dr. Matthews and Dr. Cheng addressed the audience pledging their respective support to the Mandarin program at MBMS. Witnessing the strong support demonstrated by many parents, they had no doubt that this new program of foreign language teaching at MBMS would take off in no time.
Refreshments in Chinese theme were served after the ceremony ended; many guests lingered around as they continued to enjoy the high spirits evident in the Hall.
Lilly Cheng attended the Second Chinese Language Education and Research Conference which was held in San Francisco from November 12th to November 13th. Lilly Cheng, Kelly Madden, Principal of Montgomery Middle School and Stacey Larson-Everson. Language Coordinator for the Fallbrook School District co-presented a session on the Best Practice Model for establish Confucius Classrooms. Over 400 people were in attendance and 46 papers were presented at this conference.
On November 5, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited to the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Historical Building. Dr. Lilly Cheng presented a certificate of appreciation to Peter Chu; President of CCBA for the work CCBA had done over the last hundred years in promoting and preserving the Chinese history and heritage.
On November 4, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and other staff, Anne Chu and Jonathan Lee, received a group of visitors from PSG Institute of Management Coimbatore, India. Led by Dr. Madhu Madhavan, of Asian Studies and Economics at SDSU, these guests were, Mr. L. Gopalakrishnan, Managing Trustee of PSG Group of Institutions, Dr. Nandagopal, Director of PSG Institute of Management, and Dr. Rudramoorthy, Principal of PSG Institute of Technology. A video introduction of the CI was shown to the visitors.
PSG IM is interested in establishing a Confucius Institute on its campus. Dr. Lilly Cheng suggested that they send representatives to Hanban in Beijing to learn more about the application procedures. Further, Dr. Cheng suggested that they observe the Confucius Institute meetings organized by Hanban and by Xiamen University in the near future.
On November 4, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Principal Edward Park Barnard Elementary School participated in a meeting, organized by Dean Paul Wong of Arts & Letters of SDSU, with key representatives from Huawei Company.
President Guolin Wang of Futurewei Techonolgies, Inc. introduced the USA R & D Center of Huawei; and John Roese, Senior Vice President and General Manager presented a powerpoint presentation on their e-learning outlook. A more detailed presentation was made by Bradley Wilson, Business Development Director.
A video introduction of the Confucius Institute at SDSU was presented by Dr. Lilly Cheng; followed by a presentation by Principal Edward Park. Leaders and experts from all over campus including Dr. Mary Ann Lyman Hager, Prof. Sam Shen, Prof. Ming Tsou, Prof. Min Wang and others all presented their areas of interest and expertise.
The discussion was focused on how we could provide e-learning to a larger audience and what content needed to be organized for the next step.
On Nov. 2, CI hosted the first Chinese Corner event of the year in AL-160. A good mix of native Chinese speakers and learners attended and spent the time chatting, practicing their language skills, drinking tea, having snacks, and making new friends. Two students that recently went on a study abroad session to Beijing also gave a presentation about their time and experiences in China.
Overall the event was a success and many students were excited for the next meeting. CI plans to host a Chinese Corner every two weeks, with each meeting having a different theme.
On October 29-30, the 2nd Annual Chinese Teachers Training Workshop in America was held at University of the West in Rosemead, Los Angeles, CA. More than 280 teachers, some coming as far as from Ohio, Texas, Arizona and Nevada State, attended this 2-day event sponsored by Hanban, co-sponsored by Confucius Classroom at Cedarlane Academy in Hacienda Heights, CI at SDSU, CI at UCLA and University of the West.
Mr. Norman Hsu, Chair of Board of Education at Hacienda La Puente School District and Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, gave the opening remarks to welcome the audience. Chief of Education Division from The Chinese General Consulate Office in Los Angeles, Mr. Zhunmin Chen, opened the day’s schedule with his welcome speech. Led by Superintendent of HLPUSD, Dr. Barbara Nakaoka, a panel discussion was presented to the teachers to showcase the various models of Chinese programs being implemented in the school district. Publishers and writers from assorted Chinese textbooks came on stage for a demonstration of their materials. The teachers attending the workshop not only were able to learn of the contexts of these textbooks, but also different teaching methods and resources.
Other presenters associated with CI/SDSU included “Meeting the needs of diverse Chinese language learners” by Dr. Lilly Cheng, “Infusing arts and culture in the teaching of Chinese language” by Yuan Quan, Arts and Curriculum Development Researcher of CI/SDSU, “Teaching Chinese in 21st Century digital age” by Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School and “New Methods for Radical Index” by Prof. Ximin Deng. In addition, the students from Cedarlane Confucius Classroom School lead by their Chinese teacher, Ms. Annie Wang, demonstrated to the audience their proficiency in Mandarin by a short Chinese dialogue and Chinese songs. Professor Tian Wei Hsieh from Long Beach State University gave a speech on the current Chinese language-learning trend in the United States.
The teachers who completed the 2-day event received a certificate of completion and a set of complimentary books and materials donated by the publishers. This workshop ended with high notes of new founded friendships and new knowledge shared by all the attendees.
On October 25, 2011, from 9:00AM – 3:00PM, the 3rd Confucius Classroom Forum of CI/SDSU was held at Montgomery Middle School in Cajon Valley School District in San Diego County, California. More than 40 attendees, including school district superintendents, principals and teachers were present. Director of Education Consul, President Zhuenmin Chen, as well as Education Consul Madame Cuiying Xu from Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles attended the forum as well. Principal Kelly Madden of MMS, Project Manager of CI/SDSU, Anne Chu, were the hosts of the meeting.
Professor Guijun Ruan from Wuhan University was the first speaker of the day. He gave the audience an introduction of the Confucius Classrooms at the University of Pittsburg. In addition, he addressed the issues of teleconference teaching and shared his experience in it with everyone. Instructor Yuan Quan from Yuan Quan Art Studio showcased her unique pedagogy of Chinese language through teaching of Chinese culture and arts. Fully utilizing her artistic expertise, she had designed an immersion teaching program combining Chinese characters with painting to lead students into an environment full of Chinese arts, such as calligraphy painting, identifying Chinese characters and understanding short sentences. A few examples included panda painting, beginners’ appreciation of Chinese calligraphy & Chinese painting, and using the story of the little tadpole searching for its mommy. Yuan Quan also presented a few sets of calligraphy works, including a piece which featured 24 variations of the word "water", composing of a pictogram and a painting. The vivid and lively presentations suddenly became a fun-packed event. The audience was mesmerized by the remarkable productions from her students. Mr. Felix Bonomo, a local photographer, brought in his exhibit, "Chinese Women Holding Half of The Sky", to share with all. His fascinating narration was met with cheering applause.
During breaks in between the forum, Principal Madden invited each attendee to introduce him/herself. Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng, expressed her deepest gratitude to all the Chinese teachers for their great performance. She further encouraged everyone to fully utilize the opportunity at this forum to learn and share their experience with one another, thus elevating the Mandarin program at each Confucius Classroom school to the next level. Later on, Director Cheng introduced Director of Education Consul, Mr. Zhuenmin Chen to the podium. Under Chinese teacher Catherine Xi’s supervision, the 6th and 7th grade students at Montgomery provided live entertainment for the audience. They each introduced themselves in Chinese, demonstrating a short skit in groups of 2-3 individuals. Their fan dance and red silk dance won a standing ovation from the crowd. The forum ended after a presentation by Montgomery teacher, Ms. Amber, on the subject of “Approaches to Learning”. Everyone who attended this forum was very appreciative of the opportunity to exchange their ideas and experiences.
On October 22, 2011, the 12th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Gala Awards Dinner was held at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Hundreds of distinguished guests crowded the banquet halls. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, led 7 members of CI staff participated at this gala.
Other honorary guests included San Diego County Supervisor, Mr. Ron Roberts, Director of San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alex Chuang, and Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School.
The mission of SDAFF is to connect audiences with the human experiences through Pan Asian cinema. In addition to the film festival, other year round programs include Reel Voices, Monthly Film Forums, Spring Showcase and Quarterly Screenings. At the end of the awards ceremony, Surrogate Valentine, directed by David Boyle, was chosen as the recipient of the Grand Jury Award. In addition to announcing the top independent films of the festival, SDAFF presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Ms. Nancy Kwan, one of the first few Asian American leading ladies in Hollywood. Ms. Kelly Hu was the award presenter of this award. The cheering audience gave Ms. Kwan a roaring standing ovation to show their appreciation and respect to this Hollywood legend.
On Oct. 21, 2011, volunteers of CI at SDSU went to watch the west coast premiere of ‘Knots’, a romantic comedy about the encounters of a Hawaiian family as they dealt with weddings, love, and relationships. The film was directed by Michael Kang; a filmmaker who has two other films that have been previously shown at the SDAFF (The Motel, West 32nd).
Before the start of the film, a group of hula dancers provided live entertainment for the audience; Director Kang, main actors and the screenwriter of the film, Kimberly Rose-Wolter also gave a short introduction of the film.
On October 10, 2011, a group of 25 performers led by Deputy Dean of School of Music from Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, Prof. Baohua Wang, arrived in San Diego as their first stop in the United States on their “Eastern Rhyme of Passion” American Campus Tour.
A group of local volunteers, led by Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, welcomed the touring group at San Diego airport. These volunteers acting as chauffeurs gave the performers a quick tour of the San Diego Harbor before bringing them to Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School for their first show. Cheering students excitedly greeted them upon their arrival. Despite of the limited time for preparation, these musicians, dancers presented a beautiful show.
The main performance of the evening was held at Point Loma High School. Hundreds of students, teachers and friends of CI crowded the auditorium eagerly waiting for the program. The highlight of the show was a short presentation of “Romance of the Western Chamber – Xi Xiang Ji”, being adapted into an English musical by Dr. Howard Rubinstein. This would be the first time it was performed in the United States after its premier in Zhejiang on September, 09, 2011.
The audience gave a standing ovation at the end of the program, many expressed their sentiment that they only wished the show could be longer.
On the morning of Oct 10, 2011, a group of 25 university administrators from China led by China Youth Center for International Exchange visited CI/SDSU. Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng welcomed the group, a brief introduction of SDSU and of CI was provided. Project Manager, Anne Chu gave a powerpoint presentation on the recent development of CI. Members of the delegation were interested in the academic programs at SDSU focusing on tourism and culture. In addition, the group was led on a tour of the CI office and the language lab. A discussion of potential collaboration followed.
On October 01, 2011, Bowers Museum opened its exhibit of “Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy” with a great Fair. Confucius Institute of SDSU was invited to be one of the sponsors. Project Manager, Anne Chu, and CI volunteers, Mrs. Lian Ping Lee and Mrs. Anna Lee, set up a display of a Chinese calligraphy demonstration. In addition, other sponsors presented displays such as clay making, jewelry making, and an orchid exhibit.
The traditional lion dance opened the day’s program with a big bang. Other volunteers also provided a series of shows for the guests at the museum. There were Chinese traditional folk dancers, a Chinese traditional strings ensemble, an erhu solo and a tai chi sword demonstration. The audience was awed at the professionalism of every performer.
Many on lookers stopped by CI’s booth and inquired to the meaning of the tablets on display, such as “Do unto others, do not impose on others”, or “Helping Others Is the Key To Happiness”. They were impressed by the depth and fundamental structure of Chinese philosophy. In turn, many guests asked CI volunteers to write their names in Chinese as a souvenir. The events ended on a high note after hundreds of people crowded into the back garden and were left stunned, in total amazement by the exhibit.
In commemoration of the Chinese National Holiday, Confucius Institute at SDSU attended the 62nd anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China on September 27, 2011 at the Hilton Sierra Ballroom in Universal City California. The Consul General from China as well as several honored politicians spoke in honor of the October 1st Chinese Holiday. Along with CISDSU, several Chinese SDSU students were there to observe and support the event.
The Seventh Sino-US Symposium on Medicine in the 21st Century was held at the Salk Institute from September 21 to September 23, 2011. Dr. Bill Brody, President of the Salk Institute welcomed all the participants to the symposium. Many researchers, practitioners and policy makers participated in the symposium. Topics ranged from traditional Chinese medicine to stem cell research. Among the speakers were Chen Zhu, Minister of Health from China; Dr. Gunag Ning from Ruijin Hospital; Dr. Depei Liu from Beijing Union Medical School; Dr. Qing-li Hu, former Deputy Director General of WHO; Dr. Leland Hertwell, Nobel Laureate； Dr. Ka-Kit Hui from the Collaboration Centers of Integrative Medicine at UCLA, and Dr. Shu Chien, Director of Institute of Engineering in Medicine at UCSD. Lilly Cheng attended the conference and had numerous exchanges with individuals who share the same interest and concern for health and well-being and the promotion of integration traditional Chinese medicine with western methodology.
The 15th day of the eighth lunar month is China’s traditional Mid-autumn Festival. This year, it fell on Sept. 12, 2011. At Barnard elementary school, the students and teachers enjoyed a happy Moon Festival.
Ms. Weili Wang, who is a volunteer teacher assigned through the Confucius Institute at SDSU gave an introduction on the customs, the history and the folk stories on Moon Festival to all the students in the class. She shared with them traditions such as how Chinese eating moon cakes and fruits while admiring the full moon. Chinese people consider the full moon as the symbol of reunification and fulfillment, hence the Moon Festival is also called the Festival for Reunion, and the moon cake is also called the reunion cake.
The intern teacher Lily Zheng played some Chinese traditional songs using a Chinese traditional music instrument, hulusi, for the students. “HuLuSi” is made of gourd and bamboo. The name of music is “Phoenix-Tail Bamboo under the moonlight”. The audience composed of parents and students enjoyed the performance so much that they gave her a standing ovation at the end.
On Sep.11th, 2011, The Mid Autumn Festival, one of China’s oldest traditional holidays, is celebrated at Point Loma High School. On this day, the Chinese-learning students in PLHS experienced something new for the first time: the moon cake game.
The moon cake game is an old folk custom in Xiamen (Amoy) area, usually held during the days of the Mid-autumn Festival and it signifies having good luck from the Moon God.
During the Chinese class, the students learned history, stories, celebrations, and other things regarding the festival. After class, they played the moon cake game. The game intrigued the teachers and students very much as they enjoyed themselves and received beautiful presents relating to Chinese culture.
With the Mid-autumn Festival and the moon cake game, everyone involved became more and more interested in traditional Chinese culture and festivities. They hope to see more of such activities in the future.
On September 9th, 2011, the initial performance of the musical "Romance of the Western Chamber," produced by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and the Administration Press and Publication of Hangzhou and Zhejiang Institute of Media was performed at the Dongpo Theater with great success. Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute of San Diego State University, playwright and musical adapter of Xi Xiang Ji, Dr. Howard Rubenstein and his wife from America made a special trip to Hangzhou.
"Xixiangji" is one of the most famed Chinese dramatic works written with extreme realism. The melody and the lyrics of the songs are intricate and full of poetry. It tells the story of a secret love affair between Zhang Sheng, a young scholar, and Cui Yingying, the daughter of a chief minister of the Tang court. The two characters first meet in a Buddhist monastery where Zhang Sheng falls in love at first sight. However, he is prevented from expressing his feelings while Yingying is under her mother’s watchful eye. Fortunately, Yingying’s maid, Hong Niang, takes pity on them, and ingeniously arranges to bring them together in a secret union. To the joy of the young lovers, Zhang Sheng proves to be a brilliant scholar, and is appointed a high office position. The story ends on a happy note, as the two are finally married. The English musical stars Zhuqi who portrays Cui Yingying and Li Liping who portrays Zhang Sheng. The love story of the original play serves as the compelling theme, presented in English with Chinese subtitles, and combines several traditional Chinese elements including drama, dance, martial arts, calligraphy, and painting, especially during the musical number. The musical score boldly uses western and eastern instruments such as the cello, the violin, the Chinese gong, and the Chinese wooden drum. All of the instruments together have a vivid and distinct effect on the artistic image and character of the performers. The performance becomes more dramatic, bold in innovation, and an enthusiastic exploration of classical art.
Before the show, Lilly Cheng and Howard Rubenstein had a discussion with the performers on the translation of the play. After the show, the performance was well received. They think the play retains the features of the original story and is a creative piece at the same time. The performance is more than just an adaptation; it is a play that fully demonstrates profound Chinese culture.
On September 19th, "OMG Meiyu", a hit Web show schools Chinese in American slang, featured on CNN. Bai Jie (Jessica Beinecke), the 24-year-old host of an online travel video program aimed at young Chinese viewers, teaches Chinese teenagers the nuances of American slang with a humorous segment on her show, explaining in fluent Mandarin and exaggerating all the unique gestures that come from her cute face. Her show went viral among Chinese teenagers, garnering nearly 1.5 million hits. This daily 2-minute show proves to be a role model in applying 21st Century models for teaching. Her signature peppy, comical style of teaching makes her an iconic translator of American slang for pop-culture-hungry Chinese fans.
If you like her teaching style, go ahead to visitOMG Meiyu"s YouTube channel
On September 18, Lilly Cheng organized a meeting with Asian Pacific Islander leaders in San Diego to discuss issues facing the community. Norman Hsu, School Board Member from Hacienda La Puente School District was in attendance. Nelson Huang from the APAPA organization presented the mission of APAPA. Principal Edward Park, Principal of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, presented the current status of the school regarding its Mandarin Program.
One discussion focused on the planning for a Mandarin Teacher Workshop which will be held in Hacienda Heights on October 29, 30. Topics of the workshop will include 21st Century Teaching Models, the Use of Technology to teach Mandarin, the World of Chineses, Infusion Art and Culture into the Curriculum, Teaching Mandarin to the K-12 students among others.
On September 3, 2011, an exhibition of Chinese Minority Costumes and Jewelry entitled Interwoven Traditions was presented to San Diegans at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The speaker Phila McDaniel, MFA, has traveled to China 53 times and to Guizhou 35 times. She discussed the art work of the following groups Miao, Dong, Shui, Yi, Hakka, Dai and Buyi. Her powerpoint presentation showed various designs and colors. These art pieces describe the way of life of these Chinese minorities. Costumes for wedding and particular ceremonies as well as baby wraps and hats are also exhibited. Jewelry pieces bring to audience brilliant silver pieces for the head, neck, ears and wrists. Phila is well loved by the minority groups in Guizhou and will continue to go there to conduct her research. Dr. Lilly Cheng presented Phila McDaniel an award of recognition for her research and excellent work. This exhibition will be enjoyed by children and adults throughout San Diego County.
To find out more about the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, visist their website at SDCHM.org
Discussion was focused on teaching methodology, the teaching of Chinese characters, parent class and community activities. Dr. Cheng provided a short presentation on the mission of the Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom and a short introduction of the current teaching methods regarding the reading and recognition of Chinese traditional and simplified characters. The meeting was well attended and the discussions were very engaged.
Managing Director Lilly Cheng was invited to participate in the orientation session for parents at the Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. Principal Edward Park chaired the meeting and the agenda included introducing Mandarin immersion program, lead teacher Sally Mao Lowe, new teacher from Xiamen University, Lily Wang and the members of the Parent Teacher Association.
Discussion was focused on teaching methodology, the teaching of Chinese characters, parent class and community activities. Dr. Cheng provided a short presentation on the mission of the Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom and a short introduction of the current teaching methods regarding the reading and recognition of Chinese traditional and simplified characters. The meeting was well attended and the discussions were very engaged.
The SDSU CI collaborated with the Zhejiang University of Media and Communication will be presenting the inaugural performance of the English musical "Romance of the Western Chamber".(Xixiangji) Renown performing artists will present this famous love story at the historical Dongpo Theatre next to the world famous romantic West Lake in Hangzhou city. The story of Xixiangji was written more than 900 years ago by a famous Chinese author named Wang Shipu. He created a character call Hong Niang which has become a well-known term in the Chinese language meaning matchmaking. The musical was written through the collaboration of Howard Rubenstein and Max Lee. On August 20, 2011, the Confucius Institute at SDSU received the Asian Heritage Award in the Performing Arts Category for producing the XiXiangJi.
On August 25, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Stacey Larson-Everson who is the Director of Special Projects from Fallbrook Union Elementary School District met at the Confucius Institute of Sand Diego State University. They show much enthusiasm for teaching Chinese in elementary school of American. In this meeting, they shared the experience of teaching, the situation of compiling teaching materials and holding all kinds of cultural activities. Four Chinese teachers will join the teaching job within the next few days. They are all volunteers. It was a short but very important and meaningful meeting.
On August 23, 2011, 2 student teachers, Sonia Lee and Eva Hsien, from Pintung Normal University visited CI office. They were greeted by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Project Manager, Anne Chu. The purpose of their visit was to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership program between Pintung Normal University and CI office, which the student teachers may come to CI for their required internship prior to their graduation.
Ms. Lee and Ms. Hsieh came to San Diego in July to fulfill their internship requirement. Through the assistance from CI, they taught Chinese cultural lessons at Chula Vista Learning Community Center Charter School and Hilltop High School. This was the first extensive teaching experience to Mandarin learner abroad for them. Both of them gained valuable and unforgettable teaching experience during this 5 week session. It was through this initial arrangement of their visit that the idea of future partnership program was formed.
Dr. Cheng instructed these teachers outlines that must be attended to for the sustainability of the partnership in the future, such as the pre-qualification process of candidates to come, the funding resources for possible expenses, and the appropriate schedule date.
Both Ms. Lee and Ms. Hsieh felt inspired and excited by Dr. Cheng’s suggestions. They took notes of all subjects that were discussed and promised to provide a detailed report to their Department chair before submitting a proposal to CI office in the near future.
On August 20, 2011, staff members of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and invited guests attended the 8th annual Asian Heritage Awards hosted by the Asian Heritage Society at the Paradise Point Resort. CI/SDSU was nominated in the Performing Arts category for its’ modern American adaptation of the ancient Chinese novel Xi Xiang Ji (Romance of the Western Chamber).
The focus of the Asian Heritage Awards is to act as a vehicle to share the achievement of individuals or organizations that in many ways have gone unrecognized, particularly by the mainstream population. The AHA is also about highlighting diversity and inclusiveness. Every fabric of the Asian American mosaic was presented.
Co-founders of AHA, Rosalynn Carmen and Leonard Novarro kicked off the evening’s program by presenting a welcome speech, while introducing the gala’s co-chairs, Tom Hom and Sally Wong. The entertainments throughout the evening included performances by the Xin Jian Dance Studio, the Moonlight Chinese Dance Troupe, Cady Mariano, as well as a Muay Thai demonstration.
Being awarded the AHA in the Performing Arts category, CI/SDSU faced a tough competition against many talented individuals and groups. More specifically, these talents included Robert Shroder, a conductor/musical director of the Filipino American Symphony; Kenny Eng, a local songwriter; Timothy Dang, an actor and theater director who received numerous awards in the past; and the Moonlight Chinese Dance Troupe, a local group of Chinese traditional dance aficionados. On behalf of CI office to receive the award were Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng, members of the SDSUCI and the playwright and musical adapter of Xi Xiang Ji, Dr. Howard Rubenstein, The applause of the crowd rang through the room as CI was granted the award.
Excepts from the musical "Romance of the Western Chamber" were performed by Becca Tang, Dan Yu, and Lily Ma as the final entertainment of the evening. At the end of the ceremony, all award winners, including CI, were recognized for their relentless effort and commitment in promoting Chinese Heritage awareness around the world.
The Confucius Institute at San Diego State University organized an Education Forum on August 20, 2011 from 1-3:30 in the afternoon. The Forum was held at Sunset Room of the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. The forum was attended by a group of engaging educators and community leaders. The keynote speaker for this forum was Tom Torlakson, the Superintendent of Public Instructions in California. Superintendent Torlakson addressed the audience and provided his key points of his blueprint for success and shared his views on the use of digital technology to enhance the teaching/learning experience. Bill Kowba, Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) also addressed the audience by emphasizing the importance of quality of education and 21st century skills. Edward Park, Principal of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School provided a case study of Barnard and talked about the success of turning a school that was going to be closed to a school of distinction. All speakers talked about the contributions of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University toward their mission of teaching Mandarin language and Chinese culture. Managing Director Lilly Cheng facilitated the introductions and Bernie Rhinerson of the SDUSD provided the facilitation of Q&A section. C.C. Yin, founder of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) and Nelson Huang of the APAPA Southern California chapter provided history, mission and insight about APAPA and supported this event. APAPA's main mission is to empower Asians Pacific Islanders to be groomed to run for public offices.
The 3rd annual Chinese Summer Camp Program, organized by Confucius Institute at SDSU and Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC), took place from August 1st-12th, 2011. The purpose of this program is to provide additional exposure to Chinese language and culture for all students from the Confucius Classroom schools in the greater San Diego County area. A total of 40 students participated in this year’s 2-week summer camp. These students, who constitute a diverse cultural background, ranged from 6-12 years of age with varying levels of Mandarin knowledge.
During each one-week session, the students were immersed in all aspects of Chinese language and culture. Places such as After School Learning Tree, San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Chinese bookstores, Chinese herb stores, Chinese restaurants and the San Diego State University campus offered the students a unique in-depth opportunity to explore Chinese language and culture.
At the beginning of the summer camp schedule, students learned how to greet each other in Chinese from the local Chinese teachers who volunteered their precious time and energy to help support this program. They also learned the foundations of Chinese characters prior to being guided through the practice of Chinese calligraphy. From the vocabulary they learned that day they were also able to learn a few Chinese songs and dances.
On Tuesday, students participated in the various classes offered at Yucai After School Learning Tree, such as Tae-Kwon-Do, magic tricks and ping-pong lessons. They interacted with native speaking students by asking each other questions in order to learn the difference between American and Chinese culture.
On Wednesday, the students attended a series of tours and workshops at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. They started the day by exploring the 19th Century’s old Chinatown in San Diego’s downtown area. After learning the history of San Diego’s Asian communities, they went on a guided tour through both locations in the museum to learn the significance of all of the ancient Chinese artifacts. In the afternoon, the campers learned parts of history through workshops of ancient Chinese inventions and Marco Polo’s journey into China during the Mongol Empire’s reign.
On Thursday, the children were able to experience a scavenger hunt through Ranch 99 Chinese Supermarket, the Xinhua Bookstore, and a Chinese Medicine store. To present the completion of their findings, students were divided into smaller groups to illustrate their choices of different exotic foods, medicines, and Chinese accessories. Each team was able to produce a remarkable poster showcasing their teamwork and newly formed ideas. This activity immersed the campers into a foreign environment, giving them a firsthand taste of a different culture. For many students this was the first time that they had such an experience.
At Friday’s closing ceremony, students presented a show to demonstrate all of the knowledge and experience they acquired during the week-long program. Many parents who came to the ceremony were amazed to witness their children singing Chinese songs and presenting self-introduction speeches in Mandarin. At the end, all of the students received a certification of achievement. Each participant was reluctant to see the program come to an end, leaving both students and parents yearning to participate again next year.
The San Diego County Office of Education and the Confucius Institute of San Diego State University collaborated on a federal Foreign Language Assistance Program FLAP grant to improve the quality of teaching of Mandarin Chinese in San Diego County. Teacher training was provided and a website with substantial resources for teachers and administrators. Curriculum units can be
In addition a series of professional learning community meetings will be held to focused on Total Physical Response (TPR) and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). Further, the FLAP and FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) program work together to provide Mandarin Immersion in the K-6 classrooms.
The Confucius Institute co-sponsored an art exhibition which opened on July 30, 2011 at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The exhibition focused on the work of Mr. Chiashang Chen from Taiwan. Mr. Chen is watercolor artist whose work is widely renowned in Taiwan, China and East Asia. His paintings of the Taiwanese and Chinese countryside provide a unique opportunity for the San Diego diverse community to become acquainted with the rural landscapes and farmer's lives of Taiwan and China.
His realistic portrayal of these pastoral thems has inspired comparisons with the 19th century French painter, Jean-Francois Millet. Mr. Chen's has been exhibited throughout East Asia and has received many awards and accolates. In 2004, he was elected as the chair of the Asian Watercolor Union , becoming the first Taiwanese leader of this international art society. He will be traveling to China in August, 2011 to attend another exhibition.
On July 18, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng from the Confucius Institute at SDSU was invited to La Jolla Country Day School to present a cultural and language program for a group of 30 young students from Shanghai, China. This group of students will be performing in San Diego and meet with local children from San Diego county.
On July 18, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited to a Community Advisory meeting at the Union Tribune, a local newspaper company. The speaker of this morning's meeting was Mayor Jerry Sanders. The Mayor covered many topics including the stadium, pension plans, convention center expansion, local economic development, green technology, police, firemen and overall plan for fixing the city budget. More than 25 local leaders were present at the meeting.
On July 13, 2011, ten students from San Diego, California including 2 from Calexico went to Beijing, China to participate in the 2011 Global Development Youth Summit. These students met with Dale Kreisher of the United States Embassy, William Webster of Civic Concepts International as well as many others. Dr. Lilly Cheng gave a keynote address on the topic of leadership and global competence. This group will go to a few cities and provide English language teaching to youths all across China. Follow several students’ journeys by visiting
On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 the Confucius Institute of SDSU held its’ 2nd annual Summer Camp commencement ceremony at SDSU Imperial Valley Campus. Parents of all 23 participants of this program were present. After a brief introduction by IVC International Programs Coordinator, Miriam Castanon, Dean David Pearson kicked off the event by addressing to the audience and emphasized the importance of learning a foreign language. He also encouraged the students to continue taking Chinese lessons even after the summer camp program, which would be an invaluable asset in their life. CI Project Coordinator, Michael Sedurifa, also gave a brief overview of the CI’s mission and role in the community.
CI faculty member and the conductor of the Summer Camp program, Professor Wendy Huang, showcased how each student had progressed in less than two week’s learning time. As the students took the stage, Wendy Huang outlined the morning program performed by the students which included calligraphy, paper cutting, jianzi, and of course demonstration of their language skill. The students would write their Chinese names and performed their own monologue; Professor Huang proceeded to ask each student questions in Chinese. To the crowd’s astonishment that after only 16 hours of language lesson in 10 days, each student was comprehensive of her questions to answer back in Chinese. The students also sang Chinese songs in harmony with the erhu, a Chinese instrument played by Huang. For their accomplishments, each student was individually recognized by a certificate of achievement for completing the CI Chinese Summer Camp program. At the end of the ceremony, parents were so elated by their children’s accomplishment that they expressed great interest in learning Chinese themselves. The students were eager to participate in this program again next year and new parents were enthused to sign up their children as well.
On June 17, 2011, the delegation group organized by CI/SDSU left Los Angeles to Beijing to attend the 2011 Summer Chinese Bridge Delegation Meeting for American Educators hosted by Hanban. The theme for this year’s meeting was “New Development”. Members in this group included superintendents from school districts in Los Angeles County and San Diego County, principals from K-12 schools and leading world language teachers from various Confucius Classroom schools affiliated with CI/SDSU.
In the opening ceremony on June 20, Professor Zhong Jian Zhao from China East Normal University in Shanghai was the keynote speaker; the topic of his speech was “China’s Basic Education System and International Exchange.” The afternoon programs included a visit to Hanban’s headquarter office and to the Forbidden City. Delegates also attended a welcome banquet in the evening.
The following itinerary for CI/SDSU’s group took them to Henan Province. The delegates had a most eventful schedule. Their hosts included the Dept. of Education from Henan Province, Luoyang City and Zhengzhou City. Under their arrangement, delegates were able to visit the White Horse Temple and Longman Grotto in Luoyang, and the Shaolin Temple in Songshan. The grandeur structure and the historical significance of each site left an unforgettable impression in each delegate’s mind. In addition, the group visited primary schools and high schools in Luoyang and Zhengzhou; they were all impressed by the obedient behavior and positive learning attitude demonstrated by all the students in these schools. Many principals in the group showed great interest in establishing a sister school partnership with local schools with exchange programs for teachers and students in the future. At the end of their visit in Henan, the delegation group attended a workshop seminar hosted by the Education Department of Henan Province for in-depth discussion with the representatives from Henan Province, Luoyang City and Zhengzhou City.
After returning to Beijing, each group of delegates who visited a different local hosting province or city gathered once again at the closing ceremony. Each group presented its own reflection report about their individual experience. Principal Kelly Madden from Montgomery Middle School in Cajon Valley School District was the presenter for CI/SDSU group. Her detailed report composed of an oral, pictorial and video clip presentation was so remarkable that the audience gave her a standing ovation at the end.
To enhance each delegate’s visit to China, Hanban also provided shopping and sightseeing arrangements for the visitors. The delegation meeting ended on June 26, 2011.
From May 27th to June 17th, 2011, leaded by Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Office Manager, Jessie Lin, 12 students from San Diego State University participated in a three week three unit summer program in Shanghai, China. The program included lectures by faculty members from SDSU, the East China Normal University, the New York University and the Shanghai Normal University.
As part of the activities in the program, the students visited the Chinese Pavilion at the 2010 World EXPO site, local schools, Wu-Zheng Watertown, Hangzhou, Shanghai city, Shanghai Shikumen Museum, Super Brand Mall, the Bund, the French Quarter, Pudong Financial Center, Yu Garden, local homes, the local community center, and Chic Company. The participants were interviewed by the local Shanghai TV station, which was featured in the evening news program.
During the course, they learned about Chinese language, history, culture, calligraphy, geography, and current economic and political environment. They also interacted with local students as well as foreign exchange students. Moreover, they learned to appreciate local cuisine and drinks. The pictures and video clips will provide a glimpse of the activities performed during this program.
The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSH) is discussing the implementation of a Dual Lanugage Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program. Located in South Orange County, school location may include San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, or Aliso Viejo and possibly begin with the kindergarten class of 2012-2013.
For more information please visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OC_Mandarin_Immersion/
On June 8, 2011, Barnard Mandarin Chinese students took part in a field day that celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Islanders. The day began with an assembly where Coach MJ addressed the students and shared a little about Asian Pacific heritage. This was followed up by several performances by a Polynesian dancer and a martial arts demonstration. Confucius Institute project coordinator, Michael Sedurifa made a brief plug to the students about CI’s 2011 Chinese Summer Camp program.
When the children were released by class, each was assigned to different stations that engaged the group with an activity that had some theme about the Asian Pacific culture. The Confucius Institute at SDSU happily hosted a station where they gave the students an opportunity to both learn and play with jianzi, a tradition Chinese toy similar to a hacky sack. More than 7 different classes visited the CI station and enjoyed trying their skill at keeping the jianzi in the air with the most amounts of kicks. Other members of the CI who were present were Crystal Qian and Yuxi Liu.
The group from SDSU may very well be one of, or possibly the most diverse group represented at the 2011 Youth Summit in Beijing this summer. They all come from different cultural backgrounds, walks of life, and distinct personalities so it is no wonder that the group is spread out at the moment in different places, three students in China, two from Calexico, one in Los Angeles, and the remaining in San Diego. This factor has been one of the challenges of putting together a workshop with the difficulty of communicating with group members thousands of miles across the ocean. However, on June 13, 2011, five students were able to get together to buckle down and make further progress.
Both groups, Environmental (Consumable Waste) Sustainability and Cultural Competence in China and US were able to put in some work to solidify the report and powerpoint presentation for the summit. The group was even able to bond and build camaraderie during the almost 5 hour meeting.
After a hard working meeting, the students went out to a late night dinner for Vietnamese pho. Dinner was largely spent on getting to know each other and building excitement over their entire month of July together in China.
Committee members of the Asian Heritage Society met on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at the Chinese School of San Diego. Hostess Sally Wong-Avery invited members to the prepared dinner before the meeting commenced upholding Asian culture. During dinner, each member introduced themselves and provided some background of the work they have contributed to the community.
The committee moved to address effective strategies on obtaining corporate sponsorships. One of the main concerns was how to get a hold of the right decision maker. Many ideas were thrown around which included that every member personally write a letter to any contacts that would be interested in being a corporate sponsor for the Asian Heritage Awards.
The common theme that everyone was in concordance with was that the each committee member has paved the way for the Asian community with their accomplishments. The beauty of the having a group like this is that each person came to table from their respective field, whether it be education, media, or medicine, to contribute and share their resources with one another for the empowerment of future generations.
On June 3, 2011, the Confucius Institute was invited by Principal Kelly Madden of Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon, CA to encourage students to participate in the 2011 Chinese Summer Camp. To boost awareness, Project coordinator, Michael Sedurifa along with CI volunteers, Cici Wang and James Dopp created group competitions among three different classes totaling over 100 students utilizing program details and highlights of the Chinese Summer Camp.
Michael first introduced the program and then to make things more exciting, he divided the 3 classes into groups and named them after a popular cartoon series, The Last Airbender featuring Chinese elements such as water, fire, and earth. Some of the highlights that were shared were learning Chinese calligraphy, making jianzi and jiaozi, visiting the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, and taking part in a scavenger hunt through the Convoy district. The teams then competed for prizes using camp highlights which were turned into themes such as best calligraphy writing, which Xi Laoshi acted as the judge, jianzi competition, Chinese trivia, and memorization of the Chinese zodiac.
Each student was fully engaged and enjoyed the presentation. After asking who was interested in attending the camp, about half of the students raised their hands, and asked for applications. The presentation created excitement and gave students a little taste of Chinese summer camp.
On June 3rd, 2011, Granite Hills High School in Grossmont School District hosted a multicultural fair. This event was aimed to promote cultural awareness and multiculturalism in the San Diego area. Students would set up stands focusing on various culture and customs around the world. For example, at the France booth, baguettes and croissants were offered, and face painting with a ‘French Moustache’ design added additional flair of the French culture. The Confucius Institute of San Diego State University set up a booth featured face painting with Chinese Zodiac Character and offered to write participants’ name in the Chinese calligraphy fashion. CI’s presence is to bring awareness of Chinese culture and to spark interest in Chinese language and culture among the students. Students also had brought in Chinese food for sampling. During their lunch break, hundreds of students stopped by each booth and fully immersed themselves with each culture on display.
Many students expressed a strong curiosity towards the Chinese characters; they all lined up to get their Chinese zodiac character painted on their face, arm or neck. Overall, students regard Chinese characters a ‘cool’ factor, they eagerly showed off their ‘temporary tattoo’ among their peers.
On June 3, 2011, Granite Hills High School hosted its annual Multicultural Fair. Peng Peng, a volunteer from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, gave students a demonstration on how Chinese pictographs had undergone a tremendous change and now had been transformed into modern characters.
Before starting the game, in order to give the students a better understanding of Chinese characters, Peng Peng explained the ways how ancient Chinese created pictographs and the long history of its development. During the game, Peng Peng displayed pictures of natural objects on a board, such as ‘a mountain’, or the sun, etc. On the other side of the board, she purposely laid the cards with the objects’ names in pictographs and simplified Chinese characters out of sequence. Then, by matching the pictographs and simplified characters cards correctly with their corresponding pictures, two groups of students would compete against each other, the winners could win prizes including Chinese paper cut-outs and book marks supplied by Confucius Institute.
The students were very curious about Chinese characters as they expressed this was their very first experience seeing and learning about Chinese pictographs and modern version of Chinese characters. When Peng Peng first started the game, the students were very enthusiastic to participate. Peng Peng also allowed the students to call on for help from the audience. At the end of this activity, every participant received a prize. The outcome of learning Chinese characters through games for these students was successful.
On June 2, 2011, Madison Elementary in El Cajon, CA hosted its Family Education Night, which featured Mad Science, a group of “scientists” showcasing fun science experiments to students. Principal Michelle Hayes stated that it was a night where families could come to the school to engage in different educational activities. She welcomed Confucius Institute project coordinator, Michael Sedurifa and volunteer, Cici Wang to promote the 2011 Chinese Summer Camp which will take place on August 1-5 and 8-12.
To open the night, Michael Sedurifa gave an overview of the program, highlights, and shared with everyone the incredible opportunity to take part in this year’s Chinese Summer Camp. Parents were interested in signing up their children. As the night progressed, the CI invited parents and students to the table to answer questions or to fill out applications. Principal Hayes expressed her excitement for the students attending CI’s Chinese summer camp reiterating the excellent opportunity to take part in this program.
On May 25th, 2011, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School held a large-scale extra-curricular competition at the campus of University of San Diego with the 8th grade students presenting their respective projects. The school invited Superintendent of Chula Vista Elementary School District, Dr. Francisco Escobedo, Vice principal of Harborside Elementary School, Dr. Chris Vickers , and others to be the Judges for the competition. Project Manager of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Anne Chu also was one of the five Judges for the competition.
During the competition, students in groups would come on stage to present their video and musical productions first, and then they would explain their featured topics to the audience. The main theme of this project was about community service. The students would select a disadvantaged group in the community and plan out their ways to provide service and assistance to these specific targeted groups. Some of the students had chosen an orphanage in Mexico, and brought candies and cakes to the orphans to let them experience what it was like to have someone caring and thinking of them. Another group planned a fundraising event, and with the limited amount of money they raised, they bought foods for illegal immigrants in a shelter. The five judges would direct their questions to the group members and gave a score after each group completed its presentation.
The Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School has just started a Chinese Curriculum this spring, which the parents and students are all very supportive of. To support and to bring awareness of the Chinese curriculum, CI/SDSU is co-sponsoring a Mandarin Summer Camp with introductory programs of Chinese culture at CVLCC during this summer vacation.
Lilly Cheng visited Hamilton Elementary School on May 24, 2011 with the purpose to visit and plan the 2011-2012 school year. Hamilton Elementary School was recently added to the Confucius Classroom family. Over the past year, Hamilton has had an after school Mandarin Program that was initiated which proved to bring great results. The success here has lured a film crew from CCTV to visit Hamilton and even interviewed some of the students. Above the horizon, new programs will be launched in the fall semester of 2011 with a Chinese wall being created at Hamilton Elementary School and a classroom will be designated as the Chinese classroom.
On May 23, 2011, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Project Manager, Anne Chu went to the Grossmont Unified School District to meet with Superintendent Ralf Swenson, Assistant Superintendent Mike Lewis, Principal Sue Emerson of El Capitan High School, Principal Georgette Torres of Granite Hills High School and Principal Paul Dautremont of El Cajon Valley High School. All three high schools have just received their recognition as a Confucius Classroom School in April.
The topics discussed were collaboration, resource sharing, teacher training, teacher recruitment, students’ summer camp programs, faculty professional development, cultural activities and sister schools. All three principals agreed that resource sharing would be the best strategy for program development. Each one expressed his/her plan for the Chinese language program for next semester.
Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and Confucius Institute Sign Confucius Classroom Agreement
On May 20, 2011 at 11AM, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and Confucius Institute at San Diego State University signed an agreement to be a Confucius Classroom. This signing ceremony was held at La Paloma Elementary School, which was one of the 8 schools offering Mandarin program currently in the Fallbrook School District. Many dignitaries were present to witness this wonderful event, including Consul Director for Education from Los Angeles, Mr. Zhun Min Chen; Consul for Education, Ms. Cui Ying Xu; Superintendent of Fallbrook School District, Dr. Brian Jacobs; School Board Member, Mr. Patrick Rusnell. Director of State & Federal Program at Fallbrook, Ms. Stacey Larson-Everson was the emcee for the ceremony. Superintendent Dr. Brian Jacobs and Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly represented the both sides to sign this agreement in front of more than 100 supporters, including dignitaries, and parents. Students at La Paloma provided entertainments in Spanish, English and Chinese. A local Chinese calligraphy artist well-known in the community, Mr. Zhou-Fan Ng, wrote 福布克联合小学学区 (Fallbrook Union Elementary School District) in Chinese, as a special present to the Fallbrook District. Dr. Lilly Cheng also presented a Chinese Cultural Exploratorium Center from Hanban as a special surprise present to Fallbrook.
On May 18, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng provided a two hour professional development program to 5 Mandarin teachers at Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. The training consisted of the following topics: the world of Chinese, teaching Chinese to non-heritage students, curriculum development, language and culture. This interactive session will be one of many informal and open developmental programs for Mandarin teachers. The teachers openly discussed the challenges they faced in teaching Mandarin at the elementary level focusing specifically on parent involvement and reactions.
On May 17, 2011 at 6PM, hundreds of parents and local supporters swamped into the auditorium at Correia Middle School to attend “Chinese Night”, a program organized and designed by Chinese teacher, Ms Xiao Ning Yao and her students to provide an opportunity for all to experience a taste of Chinese culture. CI staff, along with other volunteers, participated to support this wonderful event.
Ms. Xiao Ning Yao came to Correia a year ago under TCLP program for a one year term. To celebrate the ending of her term, and to showcase her students’ accomplishment in this past year, she programmed this evening’s performance and invited parents and community members for a peek into the Chinese culture.
Assistant Principal, Annette Rieger first welcomed all in the audience. She expressed her gratitude of CI’s extraordinary dedication to promote Chinese language and culture. The students from Ms. Yao’s Chinese class first performed 2 songs in Chinese. CI Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was present to support the show. CI Project Manager invited 3 guests to perform their special talents: Ms. Peng Peng demonstrated the traditional tea ceremony, Prof. Minghuan Ren, Director of San Diego Chinese Music Ensemble, gave the audience a brief introduction of Chinese traditional musical instrument, erhu, and performed solo, which brought a huge ovation from the audience. Jeff Kaemmerling gave a fantastic kung fu and tai chi demonstration.
CI staff set up a booth and provided face painting with Chinese zodiac characters, writing people’s name in Chinese calligraphy.
On May 15, 2011, the local monthly journal ‘We Chinese’ celebrated its 10th anniversary with an evening performance at the Poway Performing Arts Center in the city of Poway. The journal was established 2001 and it was the year of 9/11. From a humble beginning, the publisher Ma Ping persisted to fulfill her life love passion as an editor to start her own publication journal. Over a period of the past decade, the journal had interviewed over 120 people as its cover persons. CI Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng participated supported this celebration by being the co-host for the program. Ma Ping and Lilly Cheng presented 8 awards to individuals who have made a significant contribution in various field of professions, including law, science, education, community service, bio-technology, arts, etc. The evening was a sell-out event attended by 800 people locally, and from LA, Irvine, Mexico and China. The program included the recitation of Chinese poetry, traditional Chinese music, dance and songs.
From 11th May to 12th May, Professor Siyi Fu and General Project Manager Andrew Scott paid a two-day visit to CI at SDSU. They visited Confucius Classrooms, talked with teachers and school principals and had discussion with Dr. Lilly Cheng, Professor Sue Chen and Project Manager Anne Chu about how to serve the local Chinese programs and how to make the program sustainable.
The guests visited three of the Confucius classrooms in San Diego County, Riverview International Academy, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Program Elementary and Montgomery Middle School, to witness how Chinese programs have bloomed in the county. They were much impressed by the achievements of the students in both Immersion and Enrichment programs. They were also touched by the dedication and teamwork of the teachers. Most importantly, they regard the firm back-up from the school principals and school districts as the key to the sustainability of this TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language) project.
During the discussion period, CI at SDSU and Cardiff Confucius Institute shared their experience in the development of each CI, their perspectives on providing Chinese classes from kindergarten and on. They also see the possibility and benefits of trilateral collaboration among schools from three countries. They agree that in spite of the differences in educational systems and culture among China, America and the UK, one ultimate goal is shared, that is, to provide the young generation today a broader horizon by offering them a brand new language program. Therefore, the Confucius Institute should work hard to bridge the relationship among the three universities—Xiamen University, San Diego State University and Cardiff University.
On May 11, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University extended warm welcome to Scott Andrews and Professor Sue Fu from Cardiff University in Wales. Cardiff University is part of the Confucius Institutes of Xiamen University. The main purpose of their visit is to learn about Confucius Classrooms in San Diego. They visited Riverview International Academy, Lakeside Middle School and Montgomery Middle School. Professor Sue Chen and Anne Chu accompanied the visitors to these schools. They will be visiting Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School as well.
In addition, they met with Professor Nandagopal from India. Discussions centered on how the Confucius Institutes across the globe can work together to create optimal learning opportunities for students.
On May 10, 2011, Lilly Cheng appeared in front of the San Diego Unified School District to speak on behalf of the Confucius Classroom at Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. Many teachers in San Diego received "pink slips" and Barnard was no exception. Lilly Cheng stated that the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University is a strong partner and the Confucius Classroom at Barnard provides an exemplary model for best practice. Further, she thanked the School Board and requested for continued support for the Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. Hundreds of people showed up at the School Board meeting and many had the opportunity to speak.
On Friday May 6, 2011, Lilly Cheng visited the Riverview International Academy and was interviewed by Heather Ford of the San Diego local Fox channel. Heather visited the Mandarin classroom and observed students learning Mandarin and using the iPad to learn the Chinese written language. In celebration of language learning, Fox devoted a portion of the morning news program to report on the Mandarin immersion program. Students, teachers and families of the Riverview International Academy were excited to be visited by the Fox channel.
On May 4, 2011, Stacey Larson-Everson, Jeffrey Lui, and Sophia He from the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District came to the Confucius Institute to visit. The main purpose is to get teaching materials for the eight schools of the Fallbrook School District. Fallbrook recently became part of the Confucius Classroom family. Jefferey Lui and Sophia He serve all eight schools in the district. The agenda of the meeting also included the preparation of the signing ceremony planned on May 20, 2011 in Fallbrook. Dominic Lee from the Chinese Daily News also visited the Confucius Institute, an update about the Confucius Classrooms was provided.
On May 3, 2011, Lilly Cheng and Cheryl Ward traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Consul Zunmin Chen and Consul Xu Cuiying. They extended an invitation for them to participate in the upcoming China Institute, which will be held in San Diego from August 1 to August 4. In addition, Cheryl Ward requested the assistance of Consuls Chen and Xu to share this invitation to their colleagues as well. Current status of the Confucius Institute and Confucius Classrooms were discussed.
In response to President Obama's 100,000 Strong Initiative, 100 American students will be awarded grants to participate in the 2011 International Youth Festival held in Beijing, China.
Alongside the Education Association for China Tomorrow, the program is part of the United Nations movement, International Year of the Youth, August 2010-2011 Our Year Our Voice. The summit will begin on July 12 and last until August 8, 2011.
Ten SDSU students will travel to China this summer to take part in this international gathering of outstanding youth. These ten students will not only take part in the festival as regular attendees, but were among the 100 selected to be awarded the 100,000 Strong Grant, which will cover all expenses while in China. They will engage in workshop of an array of subjects such as leadership building, international human rights, and sustainability. Furthermore, the group has been selected to present 2 workshops during the course of the summit.
In Phase Two of the program, all 100K Strong SDSU students will be immersed into Chinese society by attending the Volunteer Action Program, which will give the group an opportunity to teach English at various Beijing schools for 2 weeks. In the third week, the group will get an incredible experience by traveling to Inner-Mongolia for 6 days where they will continue to devote themselves to teaching English.
The Confucius Institute was nominated again for its contribution to promote culture and maintain Asian Heritage by the Committee of the Asian Heritage Award 2011. A reception was held on April 30, 2011 from 5 to 8 at the Terraza Model Home Complex in San Elijo Hills. The reception was held in honor of the 2011 nominees. Over 60 people attended this celebration. Committee chair Julia Cheng, Asian Heritage Society Founders Rosalynn Carmen and Leonard Novaroo and Lilly Cheng addressed the audience regarding the significance of this event. The Confucius Institute won the award in 2010 for its contributions in the advancement of Chinese language and culture. This year, again, the Confucius Institute was nominated for the production of the Romance of the Western Chamber. The English musical version of this great Chinese love story was created by Dr. Howard Rubenstein and this English musical will be produced in China at a number of universities. Along with Confucius Institute, the Barard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School and its Principal Edward Park have also been nominated. The ballots for the selection will be out shortly. A gala in honor of the nominees and the winners will be held on August 20, 2011. Lilly Cheng, Jessie Lin and Michael Sedurifa attended this event.
Among the beautiful Spanish style yellow-stucco haciendas, and red tiled-roof buildings, there is a grand six-story structure at the northwest corner on San Diego State University campus. The Confucius Institute is located on the first floor of this building. The small size of the three offices it occupies and the few staff members it has on its roster list may not attract much attention from people passing by; however, the glory of Chinese culture is spread out radiantly from this tiny space to the greater San Diego area. The charm of Chinese language has captivated a great amount of fans among American students. Like a rainbow, the beauty of Chinese culture serves as the bridge connecting people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Not just American people, but also visitors from China have expressed their amazement at how remarkable the Confucius Institute at SDSU has accomplished in the short 2 years since it was founded.
On April 11, 2011, the Confucius Institute at SDSU attended the multicultural week at El Capitan High School to promote Mandarin and Chinese culture. Co-Director of the CI/SDSU, Professor Chen, Project Coordinator, Jessie Lin, and Project Intern, Jonathan Lee, hosted a booth featuring face painting and calligraphy of the Chinese Zodiacs. As the quad was surrounded by national flags from around the world, CI was the only organization present at that date. More than 200 students visited CI booth during their one-hour lunch break. They were intrigued by the Chinese calligraphy of their names and of the their Chinese zodiac character painted on their face . You could hear students sharing with their peers: "Look, check out what they wrote for me! Chinese characters are so artistic. This is amazing!"
At the end of the event, the teachers, staff members, and students in charge of the festival at El Capitan High expressed their deep gratitude to CI. In 2010, the CI/SDSU submitted a Confucius Classroom application for El Capitan High School to Hanban in Beijing. They are planning to start a Chinese course in the near future, and hope that with events like the fair would increase student’s interest with Chinese culture. They hope that there will be more opportunities for their students to learn more of Chinese culture.
The second Confucius Classroom Forum was hosted by Riverview International Academy in conjunction with the Confucius Institute on April 8, 2011 from 11am-3pm. Chinese teacher and educators alike were treated to a campus tour of their Kindergarten and first grade immersion programs, as well as of their trilingual programs of English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Hosts Principal Olympia Kyriakidis and Chinese teacher Ke Xu wonderfully led forum attendees from each classroom sharing technological resources and curriculum ideas.
As the forum progressed, each Confucius Classroom educator brought insight into their own programs which proved valuable to all participants. All were in agreement that collaboratively the teaching of Mandarin will surely progress, while CI staff and faculty dedicated their service to every Confucius Classroom.
A San Diego State University delegation organized by the Confucius Institute visited Xiamen University from April 5 to April 7. The main purpose of this delegation was to attend the 90th anniversary of Xiamen University. Over one hundred universities were present to help celebrate this auspicious occasion. In the afternoon of April 6th, Provost Nancy Marlin was invited to speak at the President's Forum. The topic of the forum was "Preserving the Cultural Diversity of the World: the social responsibility of universities." Over a hundred presidents attended this forum and attendees were fully engaged in the discussions. Eddie (little Eddie) Kapelczak, our student from Barnard Mandarin Magnet School, presented a talk at the evening program and was watched by over three thousand people. Xiamen University was founded in 1921 by an overseas Chinese Tan Kah Kee.
On March 23, 2011, a grandmother-granddaughter pair came to visit the CI at SDSU. The grandmother Mrs. Lee was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father came from one village of Canton. The granddaughter, Tania is organizing to open a charter school with an emphasis on the teaching of the Chinese language. Tania's great grandfather came from China and went to Atlanta, Georgia to open a laundry; his name was Charley Troy (or Toi Choi). The son of Mr. Troy married the daughter of Mr. Lee and the Chinese legacy continues until today. Tania's son, Cecil is learning Chinese and he is the fifth generation Chinese and is doing well at Point Loma High School. The Confucius Institute has been helping Tania to fulfill her dream of opening up a charter school.
On March 18-19, 2011, CSULB Asian Studies Graduate Society held a Graduate Conference, "Life and Identities in Asian Contact Zones", at the Anatol Center. Dr. Tim Xie, the conference coordinator, introduced the Project Coordinators of CI/SDSU, Jessie Lin and Michael Sedurifa to the attendees.
On Saturday afternoon March 19th, ASGS President Teresa Zimmerman-Liu presented a certificate to the CI representatives recognizing CI's support.
The topics of this conference range from social justice to popular culture. Graduate students had the opportunity to present parts of their research, which was then followed by a Q&A of the student panel where the audience was encouraged to inquire or comment about each piece.
The CI is proud to contribute to academic programs and conferences, as it is these programs enhance the understanding of Asian/Chinese studies.
On March 18, 2011, SDSU IVC hosted the "Journey to China" Scholarship Gala to promote Chinese culture, and raise funds for students who wish to attend the Study Abroad Program in Shanghai, China this summer. More than 350 local socialites and distinguished guests from San Diego attended this event, including SDSU Provost, Nancy Marlin, and Dean of SDSU/IVC, David Pearson.
Organized by CI/SDSU, the evening's entertainment programs had a plethora of cultural themes. One of the highlights for the evening was a fashion show featuring staff members, volunteers from the CI office, and students from IVC. These models showcased the many outfits with beautiful styles that were embellished in genuine ethnic accents and fully embroidered in traditional Chinese pattern. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was the emcee for the entire program. Her detailed description of every piece of garment provided an informative insight into the Chinese culture for the audience. Dr. Cheng invited well-known artists from San Diego to participate in the evening entertainments. Lily Ma, a famous Chinese Peking Opera singer, sang a short excerpt from the "Romance from the Western Chamber." Professor Minghuan Ren performed an erhu solo. And Ken Xiao impressed the crowd with his Chinese calligraphy demonstration. Ken Xiao also sang a duet with Fei Lu, one of the Chinese media representatives from San Diego. A few members from the nearby, touring Sichuan Theater of Opera from Chengdu brought a few fantastic programs to support the gala. The guests could not contain their excitement as they were bombarded with wave after wave of amazement from the evening’s program.
In addition to their normal daily activities, CI staff spent up to 2 months in preparation for organizing this gala. Their hard work surely was recognized and reaffirmed by the standing ovation from the audience. Dean of IVC, Dr. David Pearson praised the great effort and dedication the CI team has invested in promoting Chinese culture and the inter-exchange between the mainstream and Sino communities. At the end of the grand finale, Dr. Pearson presented Dr. Lilly Cheng with a certificate of appreciation.
FLICKR SLIDESHOW http://www.flickr.com/photos/cisdsu/sets/72157626201942377/show/
To watch a video please click the link to IV Press’ Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyGGylyJPn0
On March 18, 2011, a 40 member delegation from China visited the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. This group was organized by the China Council for the Promotion of Nationalities Trade, the Beijing Linghangxian International Culture Media Center, and the Fu Bang Group Corp. They visited the SDSU campus and exchanged information about their organizations and the purpose of their visit. They are looking forward to more collaboration with the Confucius Institute and San Diego State University.
On Sunday, February 27, 2011, over three hundred people attended the 2011 Multi-Cultural Lunar New Year Celebration with the theme of "Bringing Communities Together." This exciting grand finale of the New Year celebration aimed at the celebration of the traditional Chinese New Year while promoting the Asian American Coalition to carry out their charity work and community services. The White Dragon performers started the program with six lions. These lion dancers moved among the crowd and red envelopes were given to them. Among the multi-cultural performances was the sensational Floyd Smith of The Fifth Dimension, the winner of 7 time Grammy Award, 16 Gold Albums and 10 Double Platinum Albums. Over twenty different Asian organizations were in attendance. Confucius Institute was also invited to join the celebration.
On February 26, 2011, over 250 people attended the Chinese New Year festival at the Chinese Community Church. This event was organized by the Friends of Chinese Children.
More than 70 children adopted from China attended this event accompanied by their parents. They opened the luncheon program with a lion dance. In addition, a special corner was set up for the children to learn about Chinese culture; the theme was The Year of the Rabbit.
This festival was aimed at the promotion of Chinese culture and language. Many families wore Chinese outfits and were excited to learn about Chinese language and culture. Chinese food was served and chopsticks were provided for all attendees as an avenue to further explore their Chinese heritage. The children also enjoyed meeting each other and working together, the parents are eager to introduce their children to their own cultural roots and identities.
Committed to support the Friends of Chinese Children, CI/SDSU was proud to sponsor raffle gifts, such as books, and language and cultural materials. Principal Edward Park from Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School and David Seid from the House of China were also present to help celebrate this event.
The San Diego Asian Film Foundation sponsored a documentary "Last Train Home歸途列車" which was shown on February 23, 2011 at the Hazard Center in San Diego. This documentary was produced by Lixin Fan and is lauded by Brian Brooks as a Documentary Masterpiece. This documentary shows the largest human migration of over 130 million Chinese going home for the Lunar New Year. Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the holiday. This mass exodus is the world's largest human migration - an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. The quarterly screening attracted hundreds of people and a Q and A session was set up for the director Lixin Fan (in Beijing) to appear on Skype to answer questions. Dr. Lilly Cheng of the SDSU Confucius Institute was asked to serve as a commentator. Members of the SDSU faculty joined this evening's event as well.
During the night on Feb. 19th, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM) held their 15th Annual Banquet to celebrate the Lantern Festivals in Rancho Bernardo. Over 300 people participated in this event.
The SDCHM Board Chairwoman, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng hosted the party. Mr. Shaowen Zhuang, the museum curator made the opening remarks. He expressed gratitude to all the sponsors as well as the board members for their support and dedication. He also introduced the history and development of SDCHM to call for more people to support and assist the growth of the museum. Three prominent contributors were presented Certificates of Appreciation.
San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts and San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio were present to participate in the celebration. They congratulated the achievement of SDCHM and expressed their continuous contributions towards the support and development of the museum. On behalf of the City Council, Mr. Carl DeMaio proclaimed February 19th as "Chinese Historical Museum Day" throughout the San Diego County.
The museum researcher, Alex Stewart explicitly introduced the history of the Lantern Festival, rice glue ball (yuanxiao), and lantern lights, ranging from the origin in China to its introduction in various periods and regions of America.
Two famous young artists, Dan Yu and Lilly Ma, who are also volunteers from CI, performed four songs from the musical play entitled XiXiang Ji for all the guests to enjoy. The play writer Rubenstein also presented and introduced the beautiful Chinese story along with his writing experience.
At 8AM on February 18, 2011, CI/SDSU Project Coordinator, Anne Chu, was invited to join the Business Education Committee of San Diego East County, Chamber of Commerce in its February Meeting. The location was chosen at Montgomery Middle School (MMS) in El Cajon in order to learn about the new Mandarin program being offered as one of the elective subjects in September 2010.
The mission of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Committee is to bring school districts, colleges and member business together to foster an environment of collaboration, to make the resources of their business community available to educators, and to conduct annual education-related events.
Principal Kelly Madden, international Baccalaureate Director, Jonathan Green and Assistant Principal Robin Hagemann gave an impressive presentation of the innovative initiatives being undertaken at MMS. Being an international Baccalaureate Candidate School, the goal for MMS is to expand its IB program by incorporating Mandarin class as one of the IB courses. Teacher Catherine Xi, under a partnership program between CI/SDSU and Xiamen University, came to San Diego County in August, 2010. She would stay in the U.S. for 2 years.
The audience was impressed that after only 3 months of learning Mandarin, the students were able to converse and perform in Mandarin. Ms Chu gave a brief presentation of CI and the support system provided by Hanban. She also addressed the challenge of placing qualified teachers without California Teaching Credential in any of the local school. Mr. Douglas S. Deane, P.E, Chair of the Committee, expressed his willingness to advocate any measure that could fulfill the need for teaching staff for schools to the local School District legislators.
Murray Lee, the Curator of Chinese American History for the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, recently published a book entitled In Search of Gold Mountain- A history of the Chinese in San Diego California. This book provides a comprehensive look at the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It begins with the earliest fishermen to settle on San Diego Bay and examines the decline of Chinatown after the Second World War. He further discusses the persistence of community organizations and holiday celebrations which continues to unite the Chinese community. Mr. Murray Lee visited the Confucius Institute on February 17, 2011 and introduced his book to us. He will be doing several book signing events in the near future.
"In Search of Gold Mountain is perhaps the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of the Chinese American experience in San Diego, California. Murray Lee has captured the essence and ethos of the Chinese in San Diego over a span of 150 years."
--Tom Hom Chairman, Tom Hom Group, civic leader, former San Diego City Council and California State Assembly, former president and co-founder of the Chinese Historical Society and Museum and president and founder of the Gaslamp Quarter District in San Diego
To read more about the author click here.
On February 15th, 2011 as part of the itinerary to visit San Ysidro High School, a delegation from the Middle School Attached to Harbin Normal University visited Confucius Institute at SDSU.
After a brief tour of the San Diego State University campus, the delegation was greeted by the co-director of Confucius Institute, Professor Sue Chen. Professor Chen then conducted a power point presentation to introduce the work of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. She emphasized the working principles of Confucius Institute to the delegation, highlighting its primary mission: supporting the Chinese program in local public schools of San Diego County, building Confucius Classroom Clusters where K-12 Chinese program can be developed and sustained, and meanwhile introducing Chinese culture to the general public.
The Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng later hosted a luncheon for the guests at the Golden City restaurant. Throughout the lunch, the guests discussed ideas about the development of Chinese programs in San Diego School districts and its impact on the younger generation.
On behalf of the delegation, Principal Hongze Sha expressed his appreciation for the hospitality of Confucius Institute. He further commended Confucius Institutes efforts in promoting Chinese language and culture in San Diego County.
On February 15, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited by the Cultural Diversity Committee of the County of San Diego Public Authority to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Thomas Johnson welcomed the audience followed by Bud Sayles's opening remarks. Next, Meredit McCarthy and Vero Quintero did the raffle drawing and talked about the custom of giving out red envelopes. All of the key note speakers were well informed since they have done research on the Chinese language. Dr. Cheng provided a PowerPoint presentation "A Celebration of Chinese Culture". The presentation included essential key points regarding the Chinese language and culture. Many people in the audience excitedly asked questions as they were moved by the pictures in the slideshow. The celebration closed with the drawing of the raffle tickets where more than 60 people participated. The raffle gifts included a Lucky Cat, Chinese wallet, Chinese gift box, Baoding balls, Chinese lucky charms, Chinese gold nuggets, and traditional Chinese coins. The meeting room was decorated with Chinese lanterns and famous people from China, and a delicious Chinese lunch was also provided. This was a great event to promote Chinese language and culture.
The 29th Annual Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair was held on Saturday, February 12th and Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at the corner of 3rd Ave and J Street in San Diego's Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. Various activities and events were scheduled for the same weekend in town. Thousands of local residents and tourists flocked to the two-day Fair.
Among the plethora of cultural exhibits and booths, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, according to the theme for CI/SDSU, set up their very own lantern making and paper-cutting art station. Passers-by were attracted to the display of 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals and flyers of CI programs. Children eagerly learned from CI staff and volunteers about which zodiac animal they are and made animal puppets and paper lanterns. They all expressed their appreciation and gratefulness of a taste of Chinese culture.
Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute, served as the MC for this 2-day event. San Diego City Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego City Council members Kevin Faulconer and Carl DeMaio, San Diego City Assistant Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman were all present to participate in the celebration. An assortment of entertainments were scheduled throughout the day, the list included Qi Gong demonstration, Lion Dance, Folk Dance, Asian Story Theatre, Long Flute and Zither, Taiko Drum, Cantonese Opera, Kung Fu, Martial Arts and much more.
One of CI/SDSU volunteer teachers, Soprano Lily Ma and Tenor Dan Yu performed three songs from the Rubenstein & Lee's adaptation of Xi Xiang Chi, which was sponsored by CI/SDSU. Representatives from two Confucius Classroom Schools, Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School and Riverview Elementary and International Academy participated at the Fair to help promote awareness of existing Mandarin Program in San Diego County. Contestant Jeff Kaemmerling from the Chinese Bridge Program of 2010 was invited to share his experience of learning Chinese language and culture, and his experience with the Chinese Bridge competition with the crowd.
Traditional Chinese singing, dancing, eating, painting and exhibiting Chinese culture filled the auditorium; one may have thought they were in China celebrating the New Year. On Tuesday, February 9, 2011 between 11am-1pm, the Confucius Institute helped collaborate with Lakeside Middle School students to hold a wide range of festivities to celebrate Chinese New Year with their fellow classmates.
Students put on various shows which were arranged by Ms. Li Lei. To open the celebration, students sang a famous Chinese song "Gongxi Gongxi" which is a popular term used during the New Year which is used in combination with other words to bring luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. Also, some students performed traditional Chinese choreographed dancing while wearing Chinese dresses and carrying paper umbrellas.
Following these performances, students were free to walk around the auditorium to their classmate's exhibition booths. Students were given a sheet of paper to fill out as they visited each booth to better comprehend Chinese New Year by answering questions such as "What is the story behind why Chinese light-off fireworks?". Some of these booths even included homemade chow mein and dumplings cooked by the students. Another booth presented traditional Chinese fashion and its significance. They also had a booth explaining the order of the Chinese Zodiac and the underlying meaning of each animal.
The Confucius Institute offered activities ranging from writing student's names in Chinese calligraphy to face painting. Jeremy Yan, a teacher at Lakeside Middle School, volunteered to help CI by phonetically translating student's English names to Chinese characters. Michael had the longest line as students waited to get Chinese characters painted on their faces.
As the bell rang to return to class, students were still lingering around to get additional face paintings and Chinese calligraphy names for their family members. Now, these students have a better understanding of the events that occur on the biggest celebrated holiday in China.
The Lunar New Year festival is the most important Chinese traditional festival. On February 06, 2011, CI/SDSU staff and volunteers were invited to participate in the Chinese New Year Fair to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit hosted by Bowers Museum, located in Santa Ana, Orange County.
Chinese-themed decorations such as Chinese opera face paintings and lanterns, adorned all corners of Bowers Museum. Visitors couldn't help but feel the Chinese New Year spirits as soon as they walked through the main entrance. Even though each display booth might have featured a different topic on Chinese culture, they all provided a unique perspective allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in this ancient Chinese tradition. For instance, one booth showcased the Chinese dragon totem and another did face paintings, while the other taught the visitors how to make Chinese face masks. Parents and children alike crowded around each booth, eager to learn all they could about these topics.
The theme feature at the CI/SDSU booth was the 12 Chinese zodiac animals along with paper cutting art crafts. CI staff and volunteers tirelessly explained the symbolic characteristics of each zodiac animal and showed young and old how to make a zodiac animal puppet or a paper lantern. Children were absolutely transfixed once they learned of their own zodiac animal; they concentrated on coloring their own puppet and proudly showed off their creativity to others. Parents also were inspired to participate in this infectiously fun event as some of them sat in and started coloring alongside their children. Many children requested the CI staff to write down their Chinese names or a Chinese blessing on their crafts. They eagerly learned to say "Thank you" in Mandarin so they could express their gratefulness sincerely.
This event provided an opportunity for all visitors to experience Chinese traditions firsthand, which led them to a deeper appreciation of the profound Chinese Culture.
On February 02, 2011, more than 500 students, faculty and parents of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School gathered together for a festive celebration to welcome in "The Year of the Rabbit".
Principal Edward Park greeted all by introducing the first program, a solo act of a 10 yr. old Pacific Academy student, Margaret Zao, playing gu-zheng, the 10-string Chinese music instrument. Her magnificent performance inspired students to learn more of Chinese music and culture. Mr. Ting from The Academy of Chinese Music Arts performed erhu. Ms. Lily Ma, a volunteer teacher from Confucius Institute at SDSU, presented her singing talent with a short introduction of Peking Opera. These performances offered an unique opportunity for the audience to learn more of Chinese music.
Students from all grade levels then came on stage by each grade level with their own program. It was such a wonderful team effort of all teachers and faculty members to showcase the students' Chinese language ability. Parents and guests responded by a roaring applause after each show.
At the end of the performance, Principal expressed his gratitude to sponsors that have continuously supporting the Mandarin Program at Barnard with a Certificate of Appreciation and a partnership banner. These sponsors are David Seid from House of China, James Lin from Better Chinese, and Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of CI at SDSU.
Edmund "Eddie" Kapelczak, an 11 year old student from Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, was invited to perform on ChunWan on Feb. 2, 2011. The program was broadcast on CCTV in China and seen by approximately 1.3 billion people. With the support from the Confucius Institute at SDSU and Hanban, Eddie became the youngest student among all 4 CI students performing on ChunWan. Eddie has studied Chinese for nearly two years at the Mandarin Magnet program at Barnard Elementary School. Barnard Elementary is one of seven Confucius Classroom schools in San Diego. From a Polish-American family, Eddie's passion for the Chinese language and culture resonates through his incredible Chinese speaking abilities. Eddie was also invited to perform at the 5th Annual Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing. Eddie's story has brought inspiration to many American students and educators involved in San Diego Mandarin programs.
To watch the video of Eddie on ChunWan click here.
East meets west in San Diego's most diverse Chinese New Year's Celebration! Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary will be hosting their third annual Chinese New Year's event, Passport to China: Year of the Rabbit. The event will be held at Barnard Elementary on Wednesday, February 2nd from 9:30am-11:30am. There will also be a second event held on Saturday, February 5th from 11:00am-2:00pm.
For further details and information please click here.
On January 26, 2011, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University invited more than 60 guests to a gathering to welcome in "The Year of the Rabbit." Among them were 12 principals from Confucius Classroom Schools and other schools with Mandarin Program, 6 officials from San Diego Unified School District and San Diego County Office of Education, and close to 20 Chinese teachers. Many of them were past delegates from Chinese Bridge Delegates tours of 2009 and 2010; they were delighted to have this opportunity to reunite with one another and Joined in CI staff for Chinese New Year celebration.
Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of CI/SDSU presented Leadership Award to Principal Zamudio of Hilltop High School, Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, and Principal Olympia Kyriakidis of Riverview Elementary and International Academy. These 3 schools are Confucius Classroom Schools that have shown great results from their Mandarin program. Barnard Elementary and Riverview Elementary have provided immersion class for K and 1st grade students, Hilltop High extended its Mandarin class to Hilltop Middle School. A special Leadership Award was presented to Principal Mary Taylor of Hamilton Elementary School for her perseverance and dedication in promoting Mandarin Program without any funding support from School District. After only 3 months of enrichment program, her students were able to perform in Chinese and the show was broadcasted throughout China.
A certificate of appreciation was presented to volunteers who had stepped up to help out at numerous CI events in the past. These talented people willingly provide their expertise, whether it is photography, audio/video equipment set up, and Chinese calligraphy demonstration. Students at many Confucius Classroom schools were enriched from these people's Chinese culture presentation.
Dr. Cheng took the time to express her gratitude to the support from media representatives. They are Fei Lu of San Diego Chinese Press, Ping Ma of We Chinese, and Patricia Lippert of We Chinese English Edition.
Past Chinese Bridge Delegates, Norman Leonard, LARC (Language Acquisition Resource Center) Director at SDSU, and Dr. Ric Hovda, Dean of College of Education, shared their personal experience visiting China. They expressed their gratitude to Hanban who sponsored their trip for an eye-opening experience. Their feeling was echoed by all past delegates present.
At the end of the evening's program, announcements of future events, such as 2011 Summer Chinese Bridge Delegation Trip, Chinese Bridge High School Summer Camp for high school students, and Teacher Training seminars were shared with guests. Many have been inquiring of this information and are now looking forward to making this trip.
On January 24, 2011, Mr. Norman Hsu, who is a board member of the Hacienda Heights La Puente School District, visited the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University alongside with Ms. Yaping Liu, from the City of Shanghai's Bureau of Education. A brief presentation about the overview of the Confucius Institute was given to the visitors accompanied with a demonstration of the Chinese Exploratorium. Discussions were focused on the summer camp programs and summer internships provided at San Diego State University.
On Sunday, January 23, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited by the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies to attend the 21st Century China Salon Event. The chair of the 21st Century China initiative, Gail Kee and her husband, Javade Chaudhri, hosted the event at their home. Dr. Susan Shirk talked about her recent trip to Washington DC to attend the luncheon welcoming President Hu. She then conducted the interviews with June Shillman and William Klehm. Both speakers provided their life experiences of working and living in China. June Shillman, who trained as a dancer at the People's Liberation Army ballet academy, gave a vivid description of her school days during the Cultural Revolution. She also shared how she was hand selected as one of 32 dancers from the entire nation to receive rigorous training in Beijing. At the end of her training, she indicated only 17 remained. Just like the story of Mao's Last Dancer, she traveled and performed for the academy. Her story was depicted through her shared photographs of her earlier days. She recently returned to the academy for a reunion and brought her colleagues from San Diego to visit the dancers. The other speaker, William Klehm, is a highly successful businessman with a rapidly growing business operation in China, both in Nantong and Ningbo. He shared his insights into his various projects in China. William talked about cultural practices and business etiquettes. He also shared successful business models including the strategic partnerships that need to be set up for a fruitful transaction and stating helpful tips for doing business in China.
On Saturday Jan 22, 2011, members of the San Diego State University Chinese Student Association, along with Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and Dr. Sam Shen, Chair of the Department of Mathematics, participated in the welcome dinner for Consul General Qiu Shaofang. Over six hundred people attended this dinner. Among the guests was Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School's Principal Edward Park, principal of the Principal Olympia Kyriakydis, and the principal of Riverview International Academy that serves as a trilingual school. Both schools participate as Confucius Classroom schools. The evening was filled with entertainment from children and adults who sang and danced. It was an evening of celebration to welcome the year of the rabbit and the arrival of Consul General Qiu Shaofang.
On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, upon invitation from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, the Sichuan University Arts Troupe visited Confucius Classroom schools in San Diego, California. These schools were Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, Riverview International Academy and Mandarin Language Academy, and Montgomery Middle School.
The performance was welcomed by hundreds of students, teachers and parents at each school. The program included folk songs and dances from different minority tribes in China, as well as Chinese musical instrument solos (Pipa and Xylophone). One of the highlights of the performances is the unique Sichuan Opera technique—changing faces. The stunning performance left the audience in awe amazed.
Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of CI at SDSU, hosted a welcome dinner in the evening for the SCU troupe. Local community leaders were invited as well. At the welcome dinner, they all expressed their gratitude to the SCU group for their remarkable performances.
On Saturday, January 15, 2011, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Anne Chu were invited to attend the 26th Anniversary Living Legacy Awards ceremony of the Women's International Center (WIC). This ceremony was held on the campus of the University of San Diego in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.
Many women with distinctive achievements were presented with the awards, including Gloria Lane, WIC President; Dilkhwaz Ahmed, Founder License to Freedom, Domestic Abuse Relief; Chancellor Marye Anne Fox of the University of California, San Diego; Jackee Harry, Emmy Award winner, Iconic Actress and Philanthropist; Alison Arngrim Hollywood Legend "Nelly," Author, Activist ; Kathryn Marie Arger Gang Pioneer of Women in Aviation ; Christine Brady Founder Americas Foundation, Fundacion de las Americas; and Mary Hill who is a History Changing Advocate for Women in Sports and Drug Abuse Prevention.
As Co-Chairs Sally B. Thornton & Marianne McDonald pointed out, this Legacy Award is not reserved for women alone.The highlight of the evening was when Jerry Maren Legendary actor, who inspired millions as the Lollipop Kid in the Wizard of Oz, was invited on the stage to receive his award. Mr. Maren further surprised and entertained the audience by performing his exact act from "The Wizard of Oz".
The live entertainment of the evening was provided by "A Touch Of Opera Studio", directed by Lucy Lin, a world-renown pianist and vocal director, "A Touch Of Class Music" by Barry Allen Cohen, and The Academy of Chinese Musical Arts.
With the year of the Rabbit approaching, the Sichuan University Arts Troupe will be bringing the celebration to 3 local Confucius Classroom schools through folk music and dance performances. The group will tour San Diego visiting Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School in Point Loma, Riverview International Academy in Lakeside and Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon. This performance is sponsored by Hanban and the CI at SDSU. The troupe will also be touring Arizona, Utah, and Hawaii.
For further details please click here.