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Sunday September 16, 2007 at 5:13pm Age: 11 yrs
Category: District


          Students from the Intermediate School classes of Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Corletta, and Mrs. Wippel/Ms. Peluso embarked on a cultural exchange project with China last week with the help of Mr. Liam O'Neill from Orange Ulster BOCES.  This program has been secured through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, targeting various languages and cultures in which students should have learning experiences.  Mandarin Chinese was one such target area. 


          Mr. O'Neill, Mandarin Chinese teacher for Orange Ulster BOCES, visited with these three classes to excite and motivate the children about this unprecedented journey.  He guided them through some basic Chinese words along with their Chinese character counterparts and the pinyin, or written language translation.  Furthermore, he guided them through some fundamental martial arts and Tai Chi moves.  (Shown in the picture)  The session ended with a question and answer period in which Mr. O'Neill took questions from the audience and debunked several urban myths.


          For example, you cannot see the Great Wall of China from space, nor did fortune cookies originate in China!  Throughout the year, students will continue to be exposed to Chinese culture, even engaging in some web-conferencing with students in Mainland China.   A select group of students from the middle school are also participating in language instruction with Mr. O'Neill throughout the year through videoconferencing.  This grant and this program are a great source of pride for the Minisink Valley School District and we look forward to more exciting things to come!