It has been a great privilege for me to serve in the Johnson family. Five years ago, Johnson started sponsoring the Confucius Classroom Project at The King’s Academy (a nearby Christian school), and three years later, they expanded it to include Seymour Primary School. The goal of this project is to help K-12 school students learn the Chinese language, gain diverse cultural awareness, and, thereby, develop a global perspective.
Last year, Johnson University Tennessee founded the International Student Association to serve the growing international students’ population. In order to facilitate the language program and foster cross-cultural understanding, we hold various cultural programs each year to enrich the campus life, such as the annual Chinese Mid-Festival Tea Party, Chinese New Year Celebration, Taiji Class, Middle-East Tennessee High School Student Chinese Character Recognition Contest, International Food Day, etc. The Board of the International Student Association is planning to have exotic movie night, prayer night, exotic game night, and other athletic activities on campus. We really hope to see more international students, as well as native students to join for these events in the future.
For this reason, on March 8, 2015, we invited two Chinese instrumentalists from the University of Tennessee, a choir from Knoxville Chinese Christian Church, some middle school students who take Chinese language class from The King’s Academy, Chinese children of adoptive families from Seymour Primary School, and other talented friends in local community to present a Chinese New Year concert to the student body and our local community in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The concert was highlighted with Chinese instruments, folk music and Chinese hymns, and a dinner featuring Chinese food. This event not only provided an opportunity for people in the community to experience different language, music, and culture, but it was also an invitation for more people in the surrounding areas to get to know JU as a faithful and wonderful institution.
Written by Duan Hua. Duan serves as an Assistant Professor of Education and Chinese History and Culture at Johnson University Tennessee. She also serves as the Director of International Relations for the University.