Students at predominantly Latino Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights are reaching beyond their own neighborhood and culture to study the language, music and traditional theater of China through the Chinese Alive! program.
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A Roosevelt High School student listens to of the Black Eyed Peas play the erhu, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. Photo by Susan Pertel Jain.
The program was created by a partnership between the UCLA Confucius Institute and the Foundation of Black Eyed Peas' performer This summer, a group of Roosevelt High students will be visiting China, thanks to Americans Promoting Study Abroad, an organization that works with the Confucius Institute.
In a new video made by UCLA graduate film student Lucretia Stinette, Roosevelt High School students explain why they decided to learn Mandarin and Chinese cultural arts in classes taught by faculty and graduate students of UCLA's Ethnomusicology and Theater departments, as well as by traditional Chinese artists living in East Los Angeles. Chinese Alive! is part of a larger initiative supported by Foundation to help more than 200 Roosevelt High students prepare for college.
On Nov. 21, the video was screened at the inaugural conference of the 100,000 Strong Foundation in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate the UCLA Confucius Institute's role in meeting President Obama's goal to send 100,000 American students to study abroad in China. The video was also shown at the annual conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Orlando, Fla., where's support for world language education and study abroad was recognized.
This story originally ran on the International Institute website.