Go Global NC led a delegation of North Carolina educators to the 12th annual Confucius Institute conference in Xi’an, China from Dec.11 – 13. The 2017 theme was, “Working Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind through Cooperation and Innovation.”
The conference offered 15 individual forums conducted by world languages experts and focused building skills and knowledge, including program performance management, innovative teaching and resources, building the capacity of teachers, creative cultural programs, the value of Chinese language proficiency testing (HSK and YCT) and more. Special exhibits also delivered Chinese language teaching resources and materials and information about higher education in China and the ongoing cultural evolution of the country.
A highlight of the conference for North Carolina was witnessing the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) receive the Confucius Classroom of the Year Award. NCSSM was one of only five schools worldwide to receive the award, which is based on but not limited to the quality of teaching and learning, curriculum, cultural richness and community outreach and involvement as well as extracurricular activities. [Click here for press release if NCSSM delivers one before distribution date.]
The North Carolina delegation joined nearly 2,500 conference attendees that included university presidents and representatives and Confucius Institute experts from over 140 countries and regions.
(L-R) June Chen – associate director, world language programs, and Nick Rau – director, education and training, both of Go Global NC coordinated the delegation that included Alison Moore- principal, Cox Mill Elementary School; Olivia Oxendine – NC State Board of Education member; Cheri Boone – Instructional Services Department, Buncombe County Schools; Erin Anderson – principal, Harrisburg Elementary School and Hong Li- Instructor of Chinese, North Carolina School of Science and Math. The attendees were guests of and sponsored by Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) at the annual event, which is designed provide educators and administrators with the opportunity to continue to building their world language teaching skills.
Four delegates in a variety of roles represented the UNC System at the “2017 Integrate to Innovate Second Annual International Education Forum” on Dec. 2-3, in Chengdu, China. Representatives included Andrew Kelly, SVP strategy and policy, UNC System; Steven Long, UNC Board of Governors member; and Rick Van Sant, executive director and Tom Martineau, associate director for education and training, both of Go Global NC. Go Global NC has been part of the UNC System for nearly 40 years. Long offered remarks at the opening dinner for the forum, and Kelly and Van Sant served as panelists for the “Exploration and Implementation of the Internationalization of Basic Education” session.
Photo: Beijing Royal School
Conference attendees included more than 500 experts in education, health care technology and related professions from around the world who were brought together to focus on how to “establish a community with a shared future for all humankind” and “accelerate educational modernization and innovation.”
The UNC delegation was hosted by Beijing Royal School, an elite K-12 school established in 2003 by Wang Guangfa, the founder, chairman of the board and principal of Beijing Royal School and president of the Beijing Fazheng Group. Other sponsors of the event included the Center for China and Globalization, Research Institute of International Education South-South Cooperation, and the Beijing Royal Charity Foundation.
The delegation spent a day at Sichuan University, and they also visited the Chengdu Royal Language School and the Beijing Royal School. At the Beijing Royal School, Van Sant and Guangfa signed a new memorandum of understanding, which was witnessed by Long, Kelly and Martineau. Van Sant and Martineau also met with the Sichuan Provincial Department of Education. All the delegates gained a deeper understanding of the importance of Go Global NC’s collaborative work and ongoing partnerships to improve educational opportunities in North Carolina classrooms.
Students from Mount Airy High School in North Carolina and Beijing Royal High School in China are the first participants in Go Global NC’s new global partnership initiative (GPI). Twenty-five students in each school were connected through video conferencing for three joint-classes in 2017 and additional classes throughout the 2018 school year.
Photo: Mount Airy City Schools
The school-to-school video conference forum was developed by Go Global NC as part of its work with Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) and in partnership with RTP China Connection, Beijing Royal School, and Mount Airy High School.
The interaction allows students to practice their Chinese or English language skills and to virtually meet each other before several students from each class participate in an upcoming international learning exchange program. Mount Airy High School students and their families will welcome Chinese students into their North Carolina homes for a week at the end of January, and Mount Airy students will be hosted by students and families in China at the end of March. The exchange provides each group the opportunity to learn more about education, culture, and lifestyles in another country.
Then-superintendent of Mount Airy City Schools and students from Mount Airy High School shared their experiences of traveling to China at Go Global NC’s 2015 N.C. Global Engagement Summit. Dr. Greg Little discussed the importance of global education and the impact of Chinese language classes in Mt. Airy schools. Students Randall Simmons and Walker Hall, seniors at Mt. Airy High School, talked to UNC TV’s Erica Starke-Knight (5:05) about their personal experiences on a school trip to China.
Go Global NC Newsletter – December 2017 Please scroll down to view all stories.
It is my privilege and pleasure to look back 2017 and thank you – Go Global NC’s partners, private individual and foundation donors, in-kind contributors, leaders, board, alumni, staff and other friends. The entire Go Global NC team and I are grateful for your support:
Your support is the reason we are able to continue connecting North Carolina and the world. As you see “By the Numbers” below, there is good reason to be proud of what you helped the Go Global NC staff accomplish:
I invite you to read about some of the year’s highlights that show how effectively we impact North Carolinians across the State. Please know that while we receive a small amount of support from UNC, it is your contributions make the real, lasting impact in allowing us to serve and broadly impact North Carolinians. It matters and makes a difference
Rick Van Sant
Executive Director, Go Global NC
Global Teachers Connecting North Carolina Classrooms to Germany
Go Global NC worked with 28 K- 12 teachers from across North Carolina to introduce them to culture and classrooms in Germany. Their Global Teachers – Germany 2017 program began with a comprehensive orientation session, followed by in-country experiential learning and a post-travel action plan workshop.
The 28-member delegation was in Germany for only nine days, but the education they received will last a lifetime. One of the teachers, Angel Ledbetter, said, “Forty hours ago, I had never left the happy confines of the United States. Now I am looking at the sun setting over the buildings of Berlin…the past 40 hours have shown me the world is to be experienced. I still have so much to see and bring back to my little corner of the world!”
Visit our Global Teachers – Germany 2017 site to a compilation of photos and social media provided by the teachers during their travel, reflections on how their experience in Germany changed them, and what they’re bringing back to their North Carolina students.
Global Teachers programs build the capacity of teachers to help their students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to successfully navigate an interconnected world.
Chinese Guest Teachers Connecting North Carolina Students to the Other Side of the World
Twenty-three Chinese Guest Teachers are enriching the learning experience of K-12 students and their communities across North Carolina during the 2017-2018 school year. Go Global NC’s Chinese Guest Teachers program helps introduce authentic lessons about Chinese culture, history and language to prepare rural and urban students to live and succeed in a global economy.
The teachers received a warm North Carolina welcome during their orientation in July. During the five-day orientation program led by Go Global NC’s June Chen, associate director of world language programs, and Tom Martineau, associate director for training and education, the guest teachers – who are already certified, experienced teachers in China – learned about North Carolina’s educational system and were certified to teach in schools across the state.
The Chinese Guest Teachers also had an opportunity to enjoy themselves during tours of the UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke campuses, including the Duke Lemur Center, and meeting and having dinner with members of the Chinese-American Association.
China Programs include Guest Teachers and Confucius Classrooms, the Global Partnership Initiative, Chinese Bridge Delegations, HSK/YCT language testing and supporting the relationship between North Carolina and the Jiangsu Province Department of Education. Click here to learn more.
North Carolina Law Enforcement Enhancing Community Engagement
Seventeen officers from Durham, Charlotte, Orange County and Wilmington participated in a Go Global NC Latino Initiative program in 2017 that was specialized for law enforcement professionals. Latino Initiative – Law Enforcement 2017 began with a comprehensive orientation prior to the experiential learning portion of the program in Mexico in September 2017 and then followed up with a workshop after returning to North Carolina to share ideas and transform their learning into action. Click here to learn how the 2017 delegation of officers plan to better engage with Latino neighbors in their communities.
Latino Initiative programs are unique in the nation, connecting North Carolina government and community leaders to develop a better understanding of their Latino neighbors. The program develops relationships and strategies that positively integrate the Latino population into the fabric of their new North Carolina communities.
Assisting North Carolina Leaders and Educators in Stronger Partnerships
Go Global NC staff members assisted the Secretary of State’s Office and Rep. David Price to develop the itinerary and present to a delegation of English teachers from Moldova in October 2017, including events at NCSU and the Center for European Studies at UNC – Chapel.
Since 1999, North Carolina and the Republic of Moldova have been partners across multiple sectors including civil emergency operations, trade, cultural exchanges, and coordination of humanitarian efforts. Most people in North Carolina probably aren’t aware of the long-lasting relationship. North Carolina’s Secretary of State Elaine Marshall shares more about the history of the efforts and the good it has done for both the state and Moldova. Watch the video and learn more about the partnership.
Benchmarking North Carolina’s Engagement with the World
North Carolina’s Global Engagement Snapshot, a robust online dashboard that includes over 16,000 data points to quantify North Carolina’s engagement with the world across all sectors, was updated and enhanced in September 2017. “The Snapshot” is a useful tool for state agencies, policy leaders, business leaders, teachers or anyone who needs reliable data that illustrates North Carolina’s engagement and connectivity with the rest of world.
Benchmarking the data found in the Snapshot is intended to add to the conversation about how global opportunities contribute to economic well-being and quality of life of all North Carolinians. The Snapshot was created and is managed by Go Global NC and a team of students from Elon Center for Organizational Analytics.
The Snapshot was inspired by the N.C. Coalition for Global Competitiveness, chaired by former N.C. Secretary of Commerce Jim Fain and coordinated by Go Global NC, to focus on making North Carolina the most globally engaged state in the nation. The Coalition is the first in the nation to develop a shared vision (North Carolina’s Blueprint for Global Engagement – 2015), tangible metrics (North Carolina’s Global Engagement Snapshot – 2016) and collective leadership to move the needle for global engagement in NC.
Global Leaders Unlocking North Carolina’s Human Potential
Go Global NC held its first Global Leaders Forum, titled “Unlocking North Carolina’s Human Potential,” in March 2017 at the SAS Executive Briefing Center. The event explored the economic benefits of family-friendly policies to companies and North Carolina. Participants learned from keynote speakers representing two major Triangle companies and a panel from small and medium-sized businesses discussing the challenges and rewards of programs in their companies and the importance of keeping women engaged in the workforce. For a recap of the event, click here.
Global Leaders programs for business, community and policy leaders are focused on international business, trade, and education opportunities for North Carolina in areas of strategic importance, such as life sciences and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and workforce development.
“Lucha libre” may seem familiar to Americans who have seen professional wrestling. Lucha libre and American pro wrestling are centered around choreographed shows of athleticism and extravagant theatre. Both evolved from the same origins – Greco-Roman wrestling brought to North America by European settlers and harken back to each culture’s histories of storytelling.
Luchadore Mistico poses in the ring. Photo from Sam Winslow.
Lucha libre dates back to 1863 and became a nationwide Mexican passion in 1933, aided by the invention of television. The “luchadores” – the competitors – perform acrobatics and aerial maneuvers, which are the marked difference from American professional wrestling. Masked luchadores create characters that become heroes or villains with story lines that can span decades. The matches are based on the time-honored tradition of good versus evil. Lucha libre has been described as “an athletic soap opera.” Lucha libre creates well-known luchadores with popularity that continues year after year, and some find success in the American wrestling market.
Masks also distinguish the lucha libre from America’s pro wrestling. The “máscaras” are a nod to masks used in the Aztec culture and became the most recognizable symbol of the sport and a lure for many audience members. The masks are not only helpful in showing who the luchador is as a character, but which side they fight on. Some competitors refuse to take their mask off in public and may be buried in them. Demasking, as the officers saw at the match they attended, becomes an event in a luchador’s character’s life.