Page 21 - TROY Magazine Spring 2012

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TROY Magazine
that will further aid efforts to teach the
Chinese language and culture.
During the March 30 ceremony,
University officials announced the
formation of Confucius Classrooms at
the Highlands School in Birmingham and
the Loveless Academic Magnet Program
(LAMP) in Montgomery, the first such
partnerships formed through TROY’s
Confucius Institute.
The Confucius Classroom extension
program is designed to support Chinese
language and cultural education in local
communities. Partner institutions that sign
on as Confucius Classrooms can apply
for grants from the Confucius Institute’s
headquarters in China to subsidize local
educational programs.
“People in both China and the United
States must understand each other
because from understanding comes
appreciation,” Dr. Hawkins said. “The
best step toward developing that
understanding is to teach the Chinese
language to the children of this state at
the earliest age possible. Our vision is
to see the establishment of Confucius
Classrooms in schools throughout
Alabama. By working together, we can
make that vision become reality.”
Jun Yang, vice headmaster of
Qinhuangdao New Century High
School in the Hebei Province, stressed
the importance of the mission of the
Confucius Classroom program.
“To better understand a country, you
must begin with its language,” Yang
said. “These students who will benefit
from these programs will go far beyond
learning the Chinese language. They will
emerge as ambassadors who, through
their example and actions, will promote
Sino-American communication and
partnership.”
A component that sets TROY’s
Confucius Institute apart from others in
the United States is its focus on economic
development and business partnerships,
Dr. Hawkins said.
In 2010, the Institute sponsored a
trip which enabled business leaders
and economic developers from rural
areas of Alabama to visit the People’s
Republic of China to learn more about
international business opportunities for
their communities. The delegation toured
Suzhou’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development
Zone, visited with local and provincial
government officials and attended a
machinery and technology fair in Beijing.
“At Troy University, we have made
a commitment to ensure that our
students are prepared to live, think and
act globally,” he said. “The Confucius
Institute at TROY is enabling our
students and the people of Alabama
to become familiar with the Chinese
language, history and culture and is
providing an economic development
component that is enabling business
leaders within the state to connect
with and create relationships with their
counterparts in China. Through the
partnerships that have been and will
continued to be developed through
the Confucius Institute, the people of
Alabama will be well served.”
Ellis is a coordinator of university relations and
editor of the Troy University Magazine.
(large photo) A mural of the Great Wall of
China by TROY alumna P. Hope Brannon adorns the
wall above the entrance to the Confucius Institute.
Brannon, who received her master’s degree in
education with an emphasis in art, produced much of
the artwork found on the walls of the Institute’s new
offices.
(right) Students from the Highlands School in
Birmingham perform a song in Chinese during the
Confucius Classrooms ceremony. Highlands and the
Loveless Academic Magnet Program in Montgomery
became the first two participants in the Institute’s
Confucius Classrooms program, which is designed to
support Chinese language and cultural education in
local communities. Partner institutions that sign on
as Confucius Classrooms can apply for grants from
the Confucius Institute’s headquarters in China to
subsidize local educational programs.
(left) The new Confucius Institute offices at Troy
University include an exhibit hall featuring displays
that offer a glimpse into Chinese culture and history.