Wilson High School Visit

Chinese Characters Presentation and Calligraphy Demonstration

 On September 10, 2015, the GW Confucius Institute was invited by Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC to participate in a World History Class taught to group of ninth grade students. Wilson High School is a top-tier public high school in DC and the alma mater of Warren Buffett, an American business magnate and investor. Mr. Divid Heckler, the class teacher, was really excited to incorporate a cultural presentation presented by Confucius Institute at the university that’s also in DC into his class. Confucius Institute managing director Frances Taoran Sun, language instructor Ms. Huang Ying, and student ambassadors Eric Beeler and Kevin Wang visited the classroom and presented a lively showcase of Chinese culture in front of three dozens of students who just studied Chinese history in class.

Eric first introduced the GWCI to the students, and discussed other events and outreach programs GWCI has carried out in the last two and half years. Ms. Huang then gave a 15-minute presentation on the origin and history of Chinese characters, as well as on the equipment used in Chinese calligraphy. Combining historical facts with pictures and graphics, Ms. Huang offered students a first-hand experience and understanding on the subject.

After the presentation, student ambassadors set up three stations in the classroom and distributed brushes, ink, and paper to the students. These students took the opportunity to write down some Chinese characters for the first time ever. Some students learned proper techniques of writing from Ms. Huang and wrote down some beautiful characters, while other students took the initiative and let their creativity shine on the paper.

When the cultural showcase concluded, Mr. Heckler and his students thanked the GWCI for offering them a unique opportunity to experience the Chinese art first hand. The students were given bookmarks made by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing as gifts. Mr. Heckler,was given something very special — a t-shirt exclusively made for GWCI, printed with “Keep Calm and Speak Chinese (说中文)”. He put on the t-shirt right away and took a photo with his students, Ms. Huang Ying, and volunteers from GWCI.

It is expected to carry out ongoing educational collaboration between Wilson High School and GW Confucius Institute in the future.