Xavier University, Confucius Classrooms Sign Agreement

NEW ORLEANS – Xavier University of Louisiana will sign agreements with Audubon Charter School, Lusher Charter School, and Warren Easton Senior High School on Thursday, October 29, 2015, to establish the first ever Confucius Classrooms in Louisiana on the three respective campuses.

         Participating in the signing, a private event to be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Xavier University Center (Room 301), will be Dr. Yu Jiang, Director of the Xavier University Confucius Institute, and the heads of the three schools: Janice Dupuy, Principal/ CEO at Audubon Charter School; Kathy Riedlinger, CEO at Lusher Charter School; Alexina Medley, Principal/ CEO at Warren Easton Senior High School.

         Dr. C. Reynold Verret, Xavier’s president, and Professor Kang Shusheng, Vice-President of Hebei University, Xavier’s partner school in China, will bless the signing ceremony and present the Confucius Classroom plaques to the three school leaders.

         The Confucius Classroom is created to “strengthen educational cooperation between China and the U.S., support and promote the development of Chinese language education of primary and middle schools, and increase mutual understanding and friendship between the young people of China and the U.S.,” according the agreements.

         The three Confucius Classroom hosting schools, Audubon, Lusher, and Warren Easton, are among the seven K-12 schools within the Orleans Parish School Board that are offering quality Mandarin language courses through Hanban/ Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. Nine teachers at these seven schools have been facilitated through the Xavier University of Louisiana to teach Mandarin language classes locally since September 2014. They have been deeply embedded in their school curricula and the New Orleans culture.

         The three Confucius Classrooms will not only be the first such institutions in the state of Louisiana, and also the first that are supervised by an HBCU university among the nation’s over 100 HBCUs. “This is a landmark development in the history of Chinese language education in the state of Louisiana,” said Jiang. “Since Fall 2012, with the official launch of the Xavier Confucius Institute, we have been enjoying a steady increase of Mandarin language enrollment both on campus and in the community.

         “This reflects the recognition that citizens in the state of Louisiana have had toward the ever rising important role that China plays on word economy – let alone the fact that China is the No. 1 market for Louisiana merchandise exports,” he added. “It also demonstrates our need to learn the language and culture of China in order to engage with this global power more effectively. I look forward to working closely with our K-12 partners in the future.”

         The Xavier Confucius Institute was established in October 2012, and had remarkable development in Mandarin education on and beyond campus, as well as community outreach.

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