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.
A Roosevelt High School student listens to will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas play the erhu, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. Photo by Susan Pertel Jain.
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 i.am.angel 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 will.i.am's support for world language education and study abroad was recognized.
This story originally ran on the International Institute website.