NEWBERRY — Two paper dragons paraded outside Newberry Elementary School as students, faculty and staff celebrated a year of Chinese study with a day set aside to honor Chinese culture.
The event was part of the ongoing partnership between NES, Presbyterian College and Confucius Institute. As the only elementary school in the School District of Newberry County to offer a first-grader Chinese Academy, NES had much to celebrate.
The event included presentations by Instructor Xiaorui Du with Presbyterian College and Confucius Institute. The presentations to grades Pre-k through fifth grade included information on Chinese culture, geography, art, music, food and fashion.
Dr. Peggy Prescott, educational coordinator for the Confucius Institute from Presbyterian College, thanked Newberry Elementary School for welcoming Chinese teachers that the program brought to them from China with an excitement and an enthusiasm.
“I am very pleased with the school’s commitment to exposing NES students to a second language like Chinese,” Prescott said. “China is a global partner to the United States and our students will need global skills to compete in their future occupations. Reggie Wicker has been progressive and an innovative leader at NES in providing the exciting opportunities to his students.”
Prescott mentioned how desirable a skill Chinese language fluency is in today’s job market and expressed hope that other schools within the district can one day become similar partners with the institute.
“Presbyterian College is proud to have NES as a forward thinking partner,” Prescott said. “The future leaders at NES appreciate diversity and cultural experience.”
That sentiment fits within the goals of the South Carolina Network of Chinese Language Programs, whose objective is to strengthen and promote Chinese language and culture in South Carolina. The academy expands students’ worldviews and is a part of multicultural education at Newberry Elementary School.
As lessons are taught and children engage, they apply their 21st Century Learning Skills for Global Citizens as well.