UCA Confucius Institute Strengthens Collaboration and Cooperation with Arkansas School Districts

To strengthen the collaboration and cooperation with local schools and gain feedback about the Chinese program in school districts, directors of Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) together with the program advisor from Arkansas Department of Education visited Bentonville, Rogers and Conway school districts which have  “Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program” for several years.

On Nov.7th, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, visited Bentonville School District as their first stop. There they met with Dr. Michael Poore, Superintendent of Bentonville School District, Dr. Karen Morton,Director of Data Management, and Dr. Chat Scott, Principle of Bentonville High School. During the meeting, they exchanged ideas on the current development of the Chinese program in the school district and further collaboration in the coming year. Dr. Poore and principals spoke highly of the Hanban teachers for their devotion and engagement in the Chinese teaching and they are glad their students can have more opportunity to experience culture with the support of UCACI.

After the meeting, Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu observed Chinese class in the Bentonville High School. The students of Chinese class already waited in front of the classroom even before the class started. When Hanban Chinese teacher Ms. Lu Chen appeared, students greeted her with excitement. Ms. Chen’s Chinese class is one of the most popular teachers in the school. Ms. Chen received 2014 Teacher Appreciation Award in Bentonville School District for her outstanding work. Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu talked to students and introduced the programs offered at UCA Confucius Institute, “Chinese-Bridge” Summer Camp. They encouraged students to keep on learning Chinese and to become more competitive in the future job market.

On the same day Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu continued their visit to Rogers School District and met with Dr. Janie Darr, Superintendent, and Ms. Karen Steen, Principle of Rogers Heritage High School.

On Nov.18th, Dr. Lu, Mr. Michael Rowland from Arkansas Department of Education, Ms. Ashley Pettingill, Interim Director of International Engagement, went to meet with Dr. Greg Murry, Superintendent of Conway School District, Mr. Tod Edwards, and Mr. Joel Linn, Principles of Conway Junior and High Schools, discussing about the Chinese program and further collaboration and cooperation in establishing Confucius Classroom in Conway School District in the years to come.

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