Exchange teacher Wei Wei received a CLP grant to implement the Joy of Eight Project at her U.S. host school, Roton Middle School. The project encompassed various activities with the overall goal of motivating middle school students enrolled in Mandarin classes to continue to study the language after they enter high school.
Teachers from Roton Middle School and Brien McMahon High School designed two major events as part of the Joy of Eight Project: a tea ceremony in the middle school library and a Chinese culture fair on the high school campus. Both of these events included a number of activities to give students a deeper understanding of Chinese language through culture. Activities included: a chopsticks competition, tiger dancing, fan dancing, making paper lanterns, practicing calligraphy, riddle games, playing musical chairs, playing jiguchuanhua, making dumplings, and singing Chinese songs. The opportunity to interact with students at Brien McMahon gave the middle school students a firsthand look at the engaging program opportunities available to them at the high school.
The middle school students also participated in two fields trips to New York City, where they toured museums related to Chinese culture, history, and art. While in New York City, the students had the opportunity to experience the life of a Chinese immigrant in the U.S. on an experiential walking tour. Students also scripted, filmed, and edited a short video that documented the Joy of Eight project. As a result of this project, there students were motivated to continue studying Chinese language and culture.