Confucius Institute News 2020

Confucius Institute at Alfred University had lots of news in 2020.

The Fourth National Conference on Chinese Immersion Programs poster

The 4th International Conference on Chinese Immersion Programs

Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the onsite International Chinese Language Conference scheduled for November at Alfred University, New York was organized online by Confucius Institute at Alfred University from November 6th-7th, 2020.

The virtual conference attracted more than 200 teachers and researchers of Chinese Teaching from tens of countries e.g., China, USA, France, British, Canada, Russia, Poland, Airland, New Zealand, Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Antigua and Barbuda.

Six Professors and Leader of school district delivered keynote speeches about the latest research and teaching of Chinese Immersion programs. 24 selected participants gave their presentations focused on class management, pedagogy, cultural teaching and some other aspects of Chinese Immersion Programs.

Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Thanksgiving Day Celebration

CIAU celebrated Thanksgiving with AU students, who dressed up for Thanksgiving and tried special Chinese take-out food from the Confucius House.

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration

CIAU celebrated the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival with both campus and community. They delivered mooncakes and participated in AU’s Diversity Month activities. AU President, Mark Zupan, spoke highly of CIAU for its contributions to the cultural diversity of our small, rural community in hard time.

Happy Kids Zoom Class

Happy Kids Zoom Class

Adapting to COVID restrictions, CIAU organized a Happy Kids Zoom Class. More than fifty young children from all over the United States participated in the three-month class. Nineteen teachers from CIAU worked with the boys and girls to share culture, music, and science activities. The activities brought fun and confidence for both the kids and the teachers to go through the hard time of the pandemic.

AU Chinese Programs

Chinese Programs at Alfred University

CIAU and AU’s Division of Modern Languages cooperated to offer five levels of Mandarin courses. In 2020, led by Chinese Professors Yun Wang and Qian Liu, students learned Chinese language and explored Chinese culture by participating in events and activities such as Chinese Corner, the Chinese New Year Gala, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and a Thanksgiving celebration.

Guzheng class Daisy Wu

Guzheng class at AU campus

Daisy Wu teaching Hybrid Guzheng class at AU campus in 2020.

Geneva City School District

Geneva City School District

This year more than a thousand students benefited from the Chinese programs at the North Street and West Street Elementary Schools in Geneva City School District. Among these, 595 young students were exposed to Chinese language and culture, while 152 children participated in the Chinese immersion program. Led by Chinese teachers Na Wang, Xiaochao Tao, Jing Kang, Yanping Chen, Chuyue Zhang, Zuxia Song, Liping Ding, and Mengqi Gu, the immersion curriculum included math, writing Chinese characters, traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy, and ancient Chinese poetry. In addition, the Chinese teachers organized various cultural events such as celebrations of traditional Chinese festivals, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

North Syracuse Central School

North Syracuse Central School District

In 2020, the four Chinese teachers in North Syracuse Central School District, Yi Zhang, Ping Wang, Yanping Chen and Chuyue Zhang, provided Mandarin lessons and Chinese cultural presentations for students in Roxboro Road Middle School and Gillette Road Middle School. They also organized a Chinese New Year celebration for the students and their parents.

Bishop Kearney High SchoolBishop Kearney High School

Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY, continued its Chinese program this year. Ms. Xiaochao Tao taught Chinese language and Chinese culture to 41 students. Her students and over three hundred others participated in a Beijing Opera workshop, a Chinese New Year celebration, and other cultural events.

Northstar Christian AcademyNorthstar Christian Academy

The year 2020 marked the seventh year of cooperation between CIAU and Northstar Christian Academy in Rochester. More than 200 students were enrolled in Chinese courses. Kindergarten through 6th grade students learned Chinese weekly. AP Chinese is more rigorous and was offered in the high school twice a day. Wenfang Gao and Dandan Yang gave in-person Chinese teaching all year long, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, the two Chinese teachers organized various cultural events such as traditional Chinese festival celebrations, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, and a virtual summer camp. They were highly spoken of by their school.

Beijing Opera Tour and Workshop

Beijing Opera Tour and Workshop

Mr. Zichen He, an award-winning Beijing Opera artist, and flute artist Yuxiao Chen toured Northstar Academy and the Geneva and North Syracuse School Districts at CIAU’s invitation. Each performance and workshop allowed 200-300 students and teachers to experience traditional Chinese Opera.

AU Chinese Culture and Confucianism Lecture

Lecture on Confucianism and Chinese culture at AU

CIAU faculty worked with AU departments to help AU students explore Chinese culture. Dr. Tao Peng was invited to give a lecture on the spiritual life of Chinese people for AU’s World Religions class. He showed how the Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism have influenced people’s thinking over the centuries. Yun Wang was invited by AU Career Development Center to talk about Chinese table manners and showed how use chopsticks at the etiquette dinner.

Cuba Library Chinese Cultural PresentationChinese Cultural Presentation at Cuba Library

CIAU faculty Daisy Wu, Lucy Liu, and Jialin Fang gave a cultural workshop at the Cuba Circulating Library. Guests learned about traditional Chinese clothing, practiced calligraphy, and enjoyed the lovely music of the guzheng. CIAU establishes the prolonged relationship with the library for further corporation.

Tai Chi Class

Tai Chi Class

The Alfred Tai Chi class has lasted for a decade. This year the class members continued to practice throughout the year. At the beginning of the pandemic, they practiced together through the Internet, using Zoom. This enabled Master Fang to sometimes join the class from her home in China. When the weather permitted, the group moved outdoors, where everyone could stay two meters apart and benefit from fresh air and occasional sunshine. The Tai Chi class actively participated in various cultural events around the area, as always.

Virtual Summer Camp

Virtual Summer Camp

The Northstar Christian Academy organized a virtual summer camp in 2020.  CIAU teachers shared hands-on instruction in Chinese calligraphy, kicking shuttlecock, and handicrafts. They delivered the necessary materials to the children at home to allow them to participate.

Wuhan Strong Poster

Alfred University supports efforts to assist Wuhan, China, amid coronavirus outbreak

Communities large and small across China celebrated the Lunar New Year on Saturday, Feb. 1. The festive nature of the annual event was tempered due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the city of Wuhan among the Chinese cities most profoundly impacted by the deadly illness.

At Alfred University, the campus community, led by the Confucius Institute, is doing what it can to help the people of Wuhan. Recently, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU) launched the "AU Helps Wuhan" project to support Wuhan in its fight against coronavirus.

China University of Geosciences (CUG) in Wuhan is the partner institution with CIAU. When CUG’s hospital released an urgent call for medical supplies for its patients and more than 500 international students on the campus, CIAU responded right away. Although medical protective equipment is almost out of stock in America as well as in China, CIAU staff donated money and managed to collect 40 pounds of surgical masks and gloves from local pharmacies and have sent an initial donation of the medical supplies to the hospital of CUG last week.

At the Lunar New Year Gala held on the Alfred University campus Feb. 1, guests at the celebration signed on the "Be Strong, Wuhan" poster, and contributed $342 toward a fund to help Wuhan. CIAU has collected more than $1,000 for medical supplies purchases. A second donation of medical masks and protective coveralls will be sent to CUG and Alfred University alumni in Wuhan this week.

Alfred University President Mark Zupan and Provost Beth Ann Dobie expressed their concerns and sent well wishes to CUG and to our alumni in Wuhan. Via email, Zupan said, "During this time of challenge, especially for the City of Wuhan, I wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and hoping that the coronavirus outbreak is soon addressed."

New Years Celebration Gala

Confucius Institute at Alfred University hosts Lunar New Year gala celebration

The Alfred University Confucius Institute rang in the Lunar New Year by hosting the 2020 Spring Festival Gala and Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Knight Club, Powell Campus Center.

More than 200 University staff, students and area community members attended the party to celebrate the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese Zodiac. This annual event was the 12th Lunar New Year celebration hosted by the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU).

New Years Celebration Gala 2

The party kicked off with Gail Richardson’s presentation of the Alfred Tai Chi Group’s China trip. Since 2010, CIAU has provided Tai Chi courses to University students, faculty and staff, and community members. Last October, CIAU supported the Alfred Tai Chi group on its visit to China for the Second International Swimming Dragon Exchange Conference. Alfred Tai Chi won the first prize in the group performance competition. At the Lunar New Year celebration, the Alfred Tai Chi group gave the very smooth, beautiful and energetic performance of Swimming Dragon sword.

The Chinese class of 102 students and children in our community sang a Chinese song, "Happy New Year" and two wind instrument performers played traditional Chinese Bamboo flute music. An artist from the Beijing Opera wrapped up the gala by demonstrating the amusing Monkey King, a traditional Chinese superhero.

After the show, more than 200 guests enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner prepared by AU Fresh, Alfred University’s food service provider.

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