The Confucius Institute at WKU is opening three Confucius Classrooms in south central Kentucky.
The grand opening for the first affiliated Confucius Classroom was conducted Monday (Sept. 16) at the Beasley House for Community and International Education in Franklin. Two more classrooms will celebrate grand openings next week – Monday (Sept. 23) at Barren County High School in Glasgow and Wednesday (Sept. 25) at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green.
A Confucius Classroom is an affiliate of a Confucius Institute and is a dedicated classroom within the community it serves, which is aimed at disseminating the Chinese language and culture.
"As our program reaches out into communities outside of Warren County/Bowling Green, it is very hard for our CI program to make a profound impact on the community," said Terrill Martin, managing director for the Confucius Institute at WKU. "The Confucius Classroom is designed to reach beyond the classroom, and engage the community, thus, creating a culture within the communities for the culture and language."
This spring the Confucius Institute submitted three grants to Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in support of three Confucius Classrooms. On May 16, the grants were all approved with a start-up fund of $10,000 for each classroom.
The opening of the Confucius Classrooms marks a significant stride for not only the Confucius Institute at WKU program, but for the state of Kentucky as it relates to the Chinese language and culture, Martin said.
More than 60 students, principals, teachers, community members, Superintendent Dr. James Flynn and CI at WKU staff attended the grand opening of the Simpson County Schools Confucius Classroom.
Next week's grand openings are:
Barren County Schools Confucius Classroom: 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Monday (Sept. 23) at Barren County High School.
Housing Authority of Bowling Green Confucius Classroom: 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 25) at the Housing Authority Learning Center.
While there are three Confucius Classrooms in the state of Kentucky, none of them are affiliated with a Confucius Institute, Martin said. The difference between an affiliated and unaffiliated classroom is that the affiliated classrooms have access to many more resources both financially and organizationally.
An affiliated classroom is an arm of the Confucius Institute at WKU is that presence within the communities they serve. Each Confucius Classroom has a specialized focus of the Chinese culture. The Simpson County classroom specializes in "calligraphy," while the Barren County classroom specializes in the "Chinese Tea Ceremony," and the Housing Authority classroom specializes in "Chinese Kung Fu."
If you are interested in opening an Affiliated Confucius Classroom, contact Terrill Martin at (270) 745-2530.