On Apr. 3, 2015, the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah established a Confucius Classroom at Draper Elementary. State and local leaders including Gregory H. Hughes (Speaker of the House), Howard A. Stephenson (Utah State Senator), Troy K. Walker (Draper City Mayor), Lori Bays (Salt Lake County mayor representative), Marsha Vawdrey (Draper City councilwoman) attended the opening ceremony. Piper Riddle, the Principal of Draper Elementary School, presided over the ceremony. Professor Fusheng Wu, the Director of the Confucius Institute, welcomed the guests with a brief speech.
Eric Chipman, the Associate Director and K-12 Coordinator of the Confucius Institute, explained to the guests and about 800 students and their teachers how the Confucius Classroom grant would help to enhance their Chinese dual immersion program. After the speech, the attending guests took a group photo with the teachers and student representatives in the Chinese immersion program.
The Confucius Classroom at Draper Elementary is one of the seven Confucius Classrooms that the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah has recently established at Utah public schools. According to their contract with the Hanban (the Chinese government agency in charge of the Confucius Institute programs), these Confucius Classrooms will each receive $10,000 start-up funds in the first year, and subsequently $10,000 for each year to support their Chinese dual immersion programs. Our Confucius Institute will help these Confucius Classrooms with their curricular development, teacher training, cultural activities, as well as student exchangewith some Chinese partner schools.