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Confucius Inst. launches state’s first immersion charter school

The Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina is helping to launch East Point Academy, South Carolina’s first Chinese immersion charter school, which will open in August 2011.

East Point Academy, on Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce, is a state charter school that will offer instruction for 4-and-5-year-old kindergarten and first and second grades, with additional grades to be added each year. The school is accepting applications through March 21.

The mission of USC’s Confucius Institute (CI), part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, is to promote education about Chinese language and culture within the university and throughout South Carolina.

The CI has arranged for five teachers from China to serve on East Point Academy’s faculty, provided Chinese textbooks and classroom materials and helped with curriculum development and teaching training.

“East Point Academy would not be possible without the support of the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina,” said Dr. Xian Wu, a math professor and chairman of East Point’s planning committee. “An immersion experience gives students the opportunity to master a language and understand another culture, which will better prepare them to live and compete in an increasingly global world.”

The school anticipates an enrollment of approximately 100 students. It will follow South Carolina education curriculum guidelines. Math, science and language will be taught in Mandarin. English reading and writing will be taught by English-speaking teachers.

East Point Academy is a publicly funded school. To be eligible for public funding, students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2011. Tuition is required for students younger and those participating in the 4K program. Registration, tuition and additional information about the school’s curriculum and cultural offerings are available on the website: www.EastPointSC.org. Familiarity with Chinese language and culture are not required for a student to attend East Point Academy.

Parents are invited to attend one of several informational meetings being held in March. Planning committee members and faculty will be available to answer parents’ questions.

Schedule of parent information meetings

 ** 6 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, at the St. Andrews Library on Broad River Road.

** 6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, at the City Community Center, 754 B Avenue in West Columbia.

** 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at the Lexington Library on Augusta Road.

For more information about East Point Academy, contact the school at 803-719-1655 or via email at info@EastPointSC.org.

USC is the first research university in South Carolina to establish a Confucius Institute (CI) in collaboration with the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and the Office of Chinese Language Council International, a division of the Chinese Ministry of Education. For more information about the CI and its outreach to raise awareness about Chinese language and culture, business and education, visit the website: www.cas.sc.edu/ci.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 03/08/11 @ 2:40 PM | Updated: 03/09/11 @ 11:16 AM | Permalink

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