Ms. Hui Yu 俞慧

Golden September. The sky was crystalline, with the smell of fruit in the air. The Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University (CSU) welcomed its fourth annual teacher appreciation celebration in honor of Confucius’s Birthday.

The event opened with greetings from Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang, founding Director of the Confucius Institute at CSU. Mr. Anthony Yen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Confucius Institute at CSU, and Dr. Sajit Zachariah, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at CSU also spoke briefly. Dr. Wang said “This past weekend, we planted a cherry tree in Cleveland’s Chinese Cultural Garden in honor of Confucius and his continuing influence on education. There is a Chinese saying. It says that just as planting a tree today will result in blossoms in years to come; educating a child well today will lead to excellent performance in later years. In Chinese, we would say十年树木,百年树人. In planting the tree, we would also like to honor teachers and educators around the world; and we want to honor students who are learning the Chinese language, which is a window into Chinese culture.” Mr. Yen observed that the Confucius Institute had successfully finished the education jobs of last year and will continue to be dedicated to Chinese education and cultural promotion in the state of Ohio. Dr. Zachariah congratulated the Confucius Institute on its success to date, and wished it well in the days to come.

Chinese teachers Qiuhui Li from the Shaker Heights City School District and Hong Zenisek from the Brooklyn City School District introduced their 2010 and 2011 (respectively) Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American high school students. Through these trips to China, sponsored by Hanban and the Confucius Institute at CSU, students experienced authentic Chinese culture in an authentic Chinese language environment, boosting their interest and confidence in learning Chinese.

Finally, students from nine school districts in the Cleveland metropolitan area offered exciting performances demonstrating various aspects of Chinese culture that reflected the students’increasing understanding of Chinese culture and language.