April 17 is Cultural Development Day at Hamilton Elementary School in South Kingston, Rhode Island. The Confucius Institute at the University of Rhode Island (URI) was invited to organize interactive Chinese cultural activities in the art room of the school for the entire school population, consisting of around 400 students.
Parents also paticated in the event (provided to bostonese.com by the Confucius Institute at URI).
The event started at 8 in the morning and lasted until 4 that afternoon, consisting of 8 different performances total. Each group that attended averagely has some 50 students. Under the leadership of parents and teachers, the students filed into the classroom, received an activity manual, and proceeded to participate in the activities. After a short ten minute introduction of the cultural topic related to their activity, the students were split into three groups, one learning to use chopsticks, another practicing the art of paper cutting, and the last practicing calligraphy.
Through the teacher’s meticulous planning and clever design, the students quickly mastered each of the activities. In the chopsticks game, some children were able to grab 20 marbles in one minute. Because the outlines of the paper cutouts were drawn in advance, the children were able to quickly create their very own paper-cut works. In the calligraphy activity, the teacher taught the students how to write characters that looked a lot like animals, such as the character for horse. When the students had finished writing the character, they eagerly told the teacher where the horses head, legs, and tail were. Thanks to the coordination of the parents and teachers, preparation and arrangement were carried out efficiently and orderly. Parents, teachers, and the students highly evaluated the event as a complete success.
“Thanks to the good reputation of previous activities held by the Confucius Institute， we were able to hold this massive cultural show,” said Shumin Li. “The Confucius Institute will be rooted in teaching in the future, and continue promoting Chinese culture to have children in the community enjoy the fun.”