2 CSD Schools Receive Prestigious ‘Confucius Classroom’ Status

  • Post category:General News
  • Post last modified:April 7, 2015

Two Canyons District schools are among eight in Utah selected by China’s Education Ministry and the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah to house “Confucius Classrooms.”
Principals at Draper and Lone Peak elementary schools, which are the locations of two of Canyons’ Mandarin Chinese-English dual-language immersion programs, recently received word that their schools had received the prestigious designations.
As such, both schools will receive $10,000 grants to support Chinese dual-language immersion teachers, students, and programs. The grants also promote the learning of Chinese language and cultural understanding.
Additionally, the schools will receive textbook money to support the Mandarin Chinese-English language program; an interactive cultural display; and funding for language teachers to attend language-based professional-development conferences.  
The grant is renewed annually. Draper Principal Piper Riddle, whose school cheered the designation during a colorful assembly on Friday, April 3, 2105, said the grant money “helps us get closer to our goal of a SMART Board in every classroom.” Lone Peak Principal McKay Robinson expressed appreciation for the designation and the grant funds, and said the school will plan a celebration when school starts next fall.
“The entire school benefits from cultural programs like this – we all get to develop a better understanding of the world and of different cultures,” said Riddle.  “In addition, when our school receives grants like this, it creates opportunities to free up school funds for the benefit of our students and our instructional programs.”
Draper students cheered news of the grant during their Friday assembly. Eric Chipman, Associate Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah, told students during the assembly that earning the designation is “really cool.”
“You guys became a Confucius Classroom because you are an awesome school,” he said to applause.

Several dignitaries attended Friday’s event at the school. In addition to Confucius Institute leaders Fusheng Wu and Yangmin Xiao, the school welcomed Utah Speaker Greg Hughes; Utah Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper; Draper Mayor Troy Walker; Draper City Council members Bill Rappleye and Marsha Vawdry; and Salt Lake Mayor representative Lori Bays. Chinese acrobats also performed for the students, teachers, and the visiting officials .

“We are proud of the high-quality language immersion program that we have developed at Draper Elementary, and we are grateful for the honor of becoming a Confucius Classroom,” Riddle said.  “We appreciate the many business and university partnerships we participate in that benefit our students and support our school wide goal of excellence in all we do.”