Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Team Meeting

Two weeks ago we had our first team meeting for China. My team members seem great, the leaders are wonderful and the program sounds like even more fun than I had envisioned. The goal for the undergraduates in the program is to design a set of curriculum that will teach the Golden Courage students English as well as American arts. The curriculum modules are broken down into 4 areas: arts/crafts, movement/dance, music/lyrics, and theatre/games. I will be teaching movement/dance as well as arts/crafts. We have to develop two different sets of curiculum that will be used for the younger children (5-12 years old) and the older children (13-18 years old). Since one part of the program focuses on teaching American culture, we will use things like the Hokey Pokey, chicken dance and hip hop (for the dance portion) and finger painting, invisible crayon writing and sketching (for the arts & crafts portion.) The English part of the program will teach the kids left, right, front, back... maybe even kick-ball-change or shuffle-step (for dance) and shapes, animals and the color wheel (for arts & crafts.) The idea is to leave these modules in China so the Golden Courage teachers can use them for future lessons. 

We also received a more detailed schedule for our time in China:
June 2-5th - Program begins at 8am. Day trips to cultural arts sites in Beijing: Traditional Chinese Opera, Modern Chinese Opera, Traditional Chinese Music and Chinese Acrobats.
June 6-7 - Visits to Golden Courage children's homes
June 8-13 - Teach curriculum at school site 1
June 14-19 - Teach curriculum at school site 2
June 20-21 - Visits to Golden Courage children's homes
June 22-26 - Day trips with children to famous sites in China
June 27-28 - Student presentations in China to Chinese government and school officials.

While I am officially finished with the program at 8pm on June 28, I will be staying in Asia for 2 extra weeks to explore. I'll be staying in Beijing until July 1 and then flying to Shanghai (staying for about 3 days). Then, on July 4, I will fly to Hong Kong and stay there for 3 days. I will fly to Bangkok, Thailand on July 8 and stay there until the 13th - when I fly back to Beijing, and ultimately back to the States. So my extra 2 weeks looks something like this:
Beijing - June 28-July 1
Shanghai - July 1-4
Hong Kong - July 4-7
Bangkok - July 8-13
(fly home July 13)

I am so excited to be able to see so much of Southeast Asia. The temples in Shanghai are supposed to be breathtaking. The city life, shopping and entertainment in Hong Kong is supposed to be a crazy good time and the city of Bangkok as well as the beaches on the coast are things that can only be described once experienced in person. I CANNOT WAIT.

I am also on the PhotoVoice team to teach our China team as well as the children in China how to use the program PhotoVoice (a tool that involves photography to help learn language and social justice. The children will learn how to use cameras and will take pictures to make a presentation. They will choose their favorite/best 4 pictures and present to the school why they chose those pictures, why those pictures are important to them, and what they learned using the PhotoVoice program.) I am also on a team to help edit a photobook/scrapbook that we will be making for the schools. We will collect pictures, quotes, journal entries, etc. and put them into a scrapbook-like album that we will mass print for the schools to sell on their websites as a fundraiser. So, not only do I get to combine my dance experience, my secret ambition to be an elementary art teacher but I also get to do photography!! This trip couldn't be more exciting for me. 

We have another team meeting tomorrow evening (we meet every Tuesday) and then I have my GIEU retreat all weekend beginning Friday night. 

I will post more information as I receive it. Tomorrow should be interesting, as we are going to meet with the Golden Courage International representatives and learn more about creating arts curricula for children/youth affected by AIDS. We will also be learning more about Mind/Body theory (and even have a brief Mandarin lesson!)

So, more to come!