Students at Dutchtown
     are Learning Mandarin Chinese!

    Little China at DES

    Why all the hype?

    Did you know that Mandarin Chinese is currently the world’s most spoken language?

    Did you know that Shirley Franklin recently led a delegation to Beijing China to engage in dialogue with Chinese officials about establishing a Chinese Consulate here in Metro Atlanta? (Source: AJC, August 24, 2006)

    Did you know that the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is forming a committee of local business leaders with international ties to help lure global businesses here? (Source: AJC, August 24, 2006)

    Did you know that our children no longer have the luxury of competing only with their national peers; but instead are now competing with a global population for jobs and other opportunities? (Source: AJC September 3, 2006)

     Did you know that more than 200 million children in china study English; but only about 24,000 elementary and secondary school children in the United States study Chinese? (Source: AJC, September 3. 2006)

    Did you know that according to the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools there are only a handful of certified teachers of Chinese language in the US and none in Georgia?

    Did you know that only one student in Henry County studied Chinese as a foreign language …and she received her instruction online through the Georgia Virtual School? Also, the Georgia State Department of Education has convened a committee to explore how to make Mandarin Chinese available in ALL Georgia schools? Similarly, Business and Trade relationships between China and the US has increased tremendously since last year alone! 

    Did you know that according to school system records over the past five years, our Asian student enrollment has continued to rise, going from 480 students during the 2001-2002 school year to 814 students during the 2005-2006 school year? 

    While some of the implications of these facts are obvious, some are not. The bottom line is that it is time to re-evaluate some of our current educational practices. It is time to get ready for what lies ahead of us. When these businesses come, their children will come too. And guess what? They will have to go to school. But where?

     Well, according to most school systems’ policies, they will attend school in their attendance zones. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have schools prepared to receive these students once they arrive? Well, here at DES, we think so.

     The Autumn Moon Festival has been held throughout Asia for over 1000 years. This Chinese holiday is a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal moon Goddess, Chang O, who lives in the moon. The Moon Festival is often compared to a sort of “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and its inclusion of abundant food, including the popular “Moon Cake”. Our Little China at DES is one way that we expose our students to Chinese culture and even some of the language. We continue their exposure in very informal ways and incorporate this exposure  across the curriculum. We feel that our manner of presentation will stimulate our students’ interest in international matters and provide them with some fun learning activities as well. Thank you for taking the time to visit our Autumn Moon Festival this evening. We hope that you enjoy our little bit of China!