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Leland and Gray’s "Journey East: Asian Studies Academy and Sino-American Arts Exchange" is open to students entering grades 9-12 in September of 2011. Students and parents need to be aware of the fact that there is an expense involved in this program, that there are required evening sessions, and that the group spends a month in China touring and performing in such cities as Beijing, Chongqing, Qufu of Shandong Province, and Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. The school day of the Journey East participant may vary widely from that of other high school students. The application, interview, and audition process begins in February of 2011 for the semester-long program that commences in January of 2012. Students will be notified of their acceptance by May 15, 2011. In Journey East, students participate in the following courses.
Chinese Cultural Studies
Social Studies credit
Focus on Chinese history, geography, philosophy, literature and culture. Extensive use is made of feature-length Chinese movies and documentaries on important aspects of China today. Participants are required to read five books, three of which are required and two of their own choice. The required books include The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah, and Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie.
Students work with teachers to create an original music/theater/movement piece to perform for thousands of Chinese students and teachers during a month-long tour of China. After returning from China in late April, students devote workshop time to conduct individual research on a major project, which they present to the class and invited guests in lieu of a final exam.
Each JE student is required to take Chorus for ½ credit. Many students choose to take Band as well, for which they are awarded an additional ½ credit. See p. 21 for course descriptions.
Each JE student is required to take Chinese Language for 1 full credit.
The Journey East Program was created at Leland and Gray in 2000 and over 200 students from host Leland and Gray and area schools including Brattleboro, Twin Valley, Burr and Burton, Green Mountain, The Compass School, Bellow Falls and others have participated. Nearly 40 students from the aforementioned schools have brought their energy and talents to the high school in previous years, enriching the program and their home schools and becoming valued members of the Journey East community. Seven slots have been reserved in the 2012 program for qualified students from out of the Leland and Gray Union District.
For the duration of a semester in Journey East, participating students in grades 9-12 are engaged in the study of Chinese history, philosophy, geography, politics, literature and film. Additionally, all students are enrolled in classes in Leland and Gray’s AP-certified Chinese language program. All participants are required to take Chorus and many study instrumental music, as well.
Students also work with Journey East teachers in a course entitled “Production Workshop,” in which they create and produce a music/theater/dance/movement piece that is presented to many thousands of Chinese students and teachers during a month-long study/performance tour of China in March and April.
After traveling and studying in Beijing, Chongqing, Sichuan, and Shandong Province, the last several days in China are spent collaborating in music, dance and art workshops with students and teachers at The Arts College of Inner Mongolia University in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. Working together, these students teach and learn songs and dances from each other’s culture. Those pieces then become part of a final joint performance program.
Once home, students serve as resources in other Vermont schools where they perform and share their experiences and insights into Chinese culture, visiting classrooms throughout Windham County. Each student participant makes presentations to students in the elementary school that he/she attended. Additionally, each student chooses a focus are to study in greater depth and delivers a presentation on that subject to their peers, parents and community members as a final exhibition in June, a capstone project in lieu of a final exam.
Contact Tom Connor at Leland and Gray for more information.