TROY - High school students at two schools in Montgomery and Birmingham will have access to funding for Chinese language and cultural education thanks to a new partnership with the Confucius Institute at Troy University.
LAMP High School in Montgomery and the Highlands School in Birmingham have partnered with the TROY Confucius Institute to form Confucius Classroom extensions at each school. The move will provide the schools access to grant funding to enrich and improve their existing Mandarin Chinese programs.
The new Confucius Classrooms are the first such partnerships formed through TROY's Confucius Institute and the first in the State of Alabama. There are more than 300 Confucius Classrooms worldwide as part of the global Confucius Institute network.
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, said Mike Whitlock, associate vice chancellor for operations in TROY's Global Campus.
"The grants can provide visiting scholars and volunteers, secure Chinese language instructors and assist with Chinese educational and travel activities available to students and teaching staff," Whitlock said.
School representatives including Steven Frost, Mandarin Chinese teacher at LAMP and Kathryn Woodson Barr, Head of School at the Highlands, formally signed agreements during a recent meeting with University officials at the Confucius Institute's new facilities at the Troy Campus.
Opened in 2008, the Confucius Institute at Troy University is the only such institute in the State of Alabama. It is part of a global network of more than 325 Confucius Institutes and 372 Confucius Classrooms in 96 countries dedicated to the promotion and development of Chinese language education, and cultural and business exchange with the People's Republic of China.