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Fergus Falls students raising funds to attend camp in China

Published 10:46am Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two Fergus Falls High School teachers — Meng Andrews and Cindy Skalsky — are hoping that a group of students will have an opportunity to attend summer camp — in China.

When they found out that the Confucius Center at the University of Minnesota would cover room and board for students to attend the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for two weeks in July, they asked Principal Dean Monke for permission to do a fundraiser to help with the airfare.

Monke brought the fundraising application to the school board Monday night, explaining that four years ago the school received a $30,000 Confucious Center grant for students to take Chinese language classes.

“One year of Chinese will allow them to get access to the trip,” said Monke, adding that the cost of the airfare is approximately $1,600 per person, plus spending money, and that Andrews and Skalsky have six to seven students that are interested in participating in the camp.

The school board voted to allow fundraising for the trip, which will include selling Chinese dumplings and meat pies during school events and after school. The board will consider approving the trip itself Feb. 25.

The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp is an annual language and cultural activity sponsored by Hanban with the cooperation of the Confucius Institutes Worldwide.

This year, the Hanban will accept approximately 700 U.S. students in grades nine through 12 to attend the summer camp in China. The camp is for students whose native language is not Chinese but who have some basic knowledge of the Chinese language.

Each school group must have an accompanying teacher, and Andrews and Skalsky plan to go with the students. Students and teachers are responsible for securing their own round-trip international flight tickets, a China tourist visa, and international medical insurance. Hanban covers program costs in China including housing, food, instructional costs and domestic travel.

The program aims to enhance Sino-foreign youth exchanges, deepen secondary school students’ understanding and personal experience with Chinese language and culture, and stimulate their passion for learning Chinese.

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