In early December, 2009 Betsy Lueth, Yinghua Academy’s Executive Director and Luyi Lien, Curriculum Director spent seven days in China, visiting with middle schools in order to establish a sister school relationship. It was during that trip that Hohot #8 Middle School was identified as a good fit, and the administrators of both schools began planning the partnership. Yinghua Academy middle school students will use technology such as Skype, podcasts, and videoconferencing to communicate directly with their Chinese counterparts. Both middle schools' students will communicate, developing social language skills and sharing academic information, while their teachers collaborate on curriculum. Yinghua Academy is planning an eighth grade capstone study abroad class trip, to meet their peers in China face-to-face. Much of the funding for the Yinghua Academy middle school comes from an US$800,000 FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) grant the school received in September 2009.
The New Year’s celebration also included students participating in many traditions and history. The entire student body worked together to clean the classrooms (to sweep away the bad luck of the prior year and prepare for a fresh start), decorate the school, eat a Chinese New Year feast of dumplings, noodles and auspicious fruits such as apples and oranges, and come together for their grand performance. Students performed traditional New Year songs and dances as well as recited Chinese poetry and performed skits that highlighted the holiday’s customs. The performance also included a traditional Lion Dance, performed by the Ha Family Entertainment. At the conclusion children left with the traditional red Chinese lucky envelope that serves as a token of blessings and wishes for good fortune in the New Year.
About Yinghua Academy
Yinghua Academy is the first Chinese immersion charter public school in the United States and the first Chinese immersion school in the Midwest. As the first school of its kind in the Midwest, Yinghua Academy is a national leader in Mandarin Chinese immersion education. Yinghua Academy is a bilingual, tuition-free, public charter school with an international perspective.
The mission of Yinghua Academy is to provide a challenging and comprehensive learning environment that will nurture students’ natural inquisitiveness and will prepare them to be engaged and productive global citizens. Students develop intellectual curiosity and critical-thinking skills as well as a broad and deep knowledge in language arts, mathematics, world and American history and culture, science and fine arts.
For more information, call 612-788-9095 or visit: http://www.yinghuaacademy.org.