At its second annual outreach event, A Passage to China, to be held at the Mall of America on April 4 and 5, the Chinese Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with ChinaInsight, is launching a new school project, the Butterfly Project, designed to engage students of all grades.

monarch-on-butterfly-weed-rwebAt its second annual outreach event, A Passage to China, to be held at the Mall of America on April 4 and 5, the Chinese Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with ChinaInsight, is launching a new school project, the Butterfly Project, designed to engage students of all grades.

This project invites students to make authentic models of butterflies, native to specific regions of China, out of recyclable or sustainable materials. These models can be 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional, with wingspans between 6” to 12”.  The butterflies should be properly identified, labeled with the province to which they are native, and attached to a string (4’ to 5’ long, preferably one strand per class). Students should then bring their strands to the Foundation’s table on either April 4 or 5 where their strands will be hung on a specially built arbor.

This Butterfly Project integrates several disciplines of a typical school curriculum: art, science, geography, and multicultural studies. It is also a program that is so elastic that it can span many levels of difficulty and sophistication, allowing teachers of these diverse disciplines to delve into their specialty at any length to fit their respective syllabi.

“We envision a colorful display of multiple strands of authentic butterflies on our arbor for all visitors to enjoy, and we invite all the teachers and students to stay and ‘tour’ our free event,” said Ming Tchou, president of the Foundation. “Students represent our future and establishing a connection with them through fun and knowledge is a priority of our Foundation.”

Butterflies have long held a special place in the hearts of the Chinese. The tragic story of the Butterfly Lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, is one of the most celebrated romance stories in China.

In addition to launching this Butterfly Project at A Passage to China, the Foundation is also expanding cultural demonstrations to include popular topics such as cooking, tai chi, and the timeless Chinese game of jianze, a hacky-sack type game employing a feathered shuttlecock. With more space available at the MOA, cultural performances now will be performed in a dedicated space at the Sears Court. The interactive games, the heart of the event, will take place at the Rotunda. With more than 30 Chinese organizations participating, there will be activities, engrossing and challenging, to keep entire families engaged for much of the time that the event will be open. More information also will be available about Chinese Studies in the Twin Cities area.

All in all, this year’s A Passage to China promises to attract more families and provide them with ample opportunities to learn about and interact with the entire Chinese community

For templates of butterflies and information on specific butterflies from China please visit the Foundation’s Web site: www.chineseheritagefoundation.org.

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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