Oct. 15, 2011 | WMU News
KALAMAZOO--Officials from Western Michigan University, the Confucius Institute and Portage Public Schools will highlight their partnership providing K-12 students exposure to the Chinese language and culture during an open house at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Portage Central High School auditorium.
With the help of an up to $600,000 grant from the Confucius Institute at WMU, the school district is the first in Michigan to offer authorized Confucius classrooms. The grant is expected to provide $150,000 per school, distributed in increments of $30,000 per year for the duration of the five-year program. It is designed to allow schools to apply for a renewal of the grant at the end of the initial five years.
Grant money is provided in the form of teaching materials, equipment, as well as cash, which can be used for guest demonstrations and other supplies. On top of the $30,000 per year that each school can potentially receive, WMU will provide personnel to be in the classrooms teaching Chinese language and culture.
These classrooms are at two PPS elementary schools, Amberly and Lake Center, as well as in the social studies and language departments of both Portage Central and Portage Northern high schools.
Founded in 2009, the Confucius Institute at WMU has an official partnership with the Beijing Language and Culture University, which provides funding to WMU through the Office of Chinese Language Council International of China's Ministry of Education, known more commonly as the Hanban.
Contact Lynn Adams, Portage Public Schools Department of Curriculum and Instruction, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 323-5060 for more information.