Education

2018 Oregon-China Conference on Culture, Language, and Business.

As long time partners with the Confucius Institute we are proud that two of our PSSCA Board Members will be presenting special topics.

Jeffrey Kinkley, PSSCA: SecretaryPresenting in a language panel discussion on fiction and film as resources for teaching modern Chinese history along with Desmond Cheung, Assistant Professor of History at Portland State University (PSU). Jeffrey is a Courtesy Professor of History also at PSU.

Adam Carpenter, PSSCA: MarketingPresenting in a business panel and presenting topic titled: "Coffee, Cash & Communism: Relating firsthand stories working in and with China since 2004." Adam works in Business Development and Marketing at Matisse Capital.

Oregon-China Conference on Culture, Language, and Business

The Confucius Institute at Portland State University (CIPSU) is delighted to invite you to the 2018 Oregon-China International Conference on Culture, Language, and Business held on Thursday, September 13, 2018. This collaborative project among CIPSU, WorldOregon, the Oregon Department of Education, Northwest China Council, and Institute for Asian Studies at PSU brings together educators, business leaders, students, and members of the general public and covers the following topics:

  • Cultural Studies

  • Language Education

  • International Business

In addition, this event is an opportunity for those interested in learning more about Confucius Institute programming, sharing experiences of their partnerships with China, and exploring best practices and opportunities in Confucius Classrooms.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Mel Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University Mr. Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon

30th Anniversary PSSCA Gala in Partnership with Lan Su Chinese Garden

"An Enchanted Evening Under the Stars"

The 2018 Evening Under the Stars Gala marks the 30th anniversary of Portland and Suzhou sister city friendship. It is the culmination of weekend-long festivities that encompassed sister city friendship tree planting ceremony, photo exhibit at the City Hall and Suzhou Chinese Orchestra performances at PSU’s Lincoln Hall.

We kicked off this year’s Gala with the Lee Association Dragon and Lion Dance led by Terry Lee. For the first time in PSSCA Gala history, the entertainment program featured prominent artists from both Suzhou and Portland.  As the 2018 Gala Chair, the highlight of the entertainment program is the process of producing and presenting a variety of high quality performances with seamless delivery. Our distinguished guests from both cities were treated to a visual and auditory feast that embodied the integration and unity of East and West cultural elements: a beautiful melody of Kunqu Opera from the Peony Pavilion by a famed master from Suzhou juxtaposed with heart-warming arias of Puccini and Verdi sang by Portland Opera stars; Suzhou Chinese Orchestra musicians whose skillful performance on traditional Chinese musical instruments - Pipa and Guzheng - enchanted our audience while BodyVox dancers morphed their physical beauty with that of natural setting at Lan Su Garden.

I continue to be amazed at how we managed to pull off a stunning show without the luxury of rehearsal time when artists from various professional companies in both cities who have never met before came together in the last hour! Deep gratitude is also expressed for our generous donors and sponsors! (link to sponsors) It speaks volumes of all involved whose discipline, commitment and goodwill transcend language and cultural barriers, the strongest testament to the long-lasting relationship of Portland and Suzhou.

Happy 30th Anniversary!

 

My First PediCab Ride at the Portland Grand Floral Parade 2018

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Article contributed by Yeshe Versluys

(The son of PSSCA board member JeanLi)

Hi, my name is Yeshe and I attend Lake Oswego Junior High.

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On June 9th, 2018, I participated for my first time in the annual Grand Floral Parade, part of Portland’s Rose Festival. I had a great time riding in the pedi-cab representing the Suzhou-Portland Sister City Association. We (My mom and I) arrived bright and early in the morning at the meeting place (which took some effort to find) and immediately got to work, decorating our cab with bundles of bright and scented flowers. Our fellow decorators from other associations commended us on our extravagant bundles of flowers lining the bright orange cab. Finally, our group arrived at the start of the parade, and I saw just how complex, but well organized an operation this was. Horses lined the street, their riders mounted high above everyone else, sporting bright colors and intricate designs in their clothing. I also noticed the various floats that were positioned behind our ensemble of 20 or so carts. Then we started moving.

I have two favorite moments from the parade; the first one was when our caravan entered the coliseum. I remember waving at the massive crowd of people lining the edges of the room, I couldn’t help but smile, taken away by the big audience and grand introduction. As our fleet exited the coliseum, I knew this would be a fun day.

My other favorite moment from the parade was seeing all of the different people, from different backgrounds and a wide range of ethnicities, coming together for this event. It brought a grin to my face as we paraded down the streets smiling, waving, and our drivers cheering their heads off (figuratively). I also enjoyed seeing people’s faces light up when they recognized the various cities being represented, I heard people on the side saying things like “Oh, Oh, Suzhou! I recognize that!”. I even saw some of my classmates there.

All in all, I had such an amazing time and I look forward to attending and maybe even participating next year!

2017 Jiangsu International Youth Art Contest

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Principal Julie Rickman of the Hope Chinese Charter School accepted the invitation from PSSCA President Lynne McIntyre and her VP Robert Fraser to participate in the 2017 Jiangsu International Youth Art Contest sponsored by the Jiangsu Provincial Government and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation.

The purpose of this Contest was to highlight the friendship between the young generation of Jiangsu’s 13 cities including Portland Sister City to Suzhou and those in their sister cities around the world. This Contest encouraged the participation of children aged between 6 and 12 to introduce their hometown by painting in the universal language of art.

The theme of this Contest was “Painting Your Home, Dreaming Your Future”. The selected works will be exhibited in China, and the young artists will be awarded a certificate to celebrate their participation in this Contest. All students participating in the contest from Hope Chinese Charter School will receive a Certificate of Friendship with the City of Suzhou from PSSCA.

Yuan (Yuri) Liu Lead Chinese Teacher & Curriculum Coordinator, coordinated the project with the able assistance of Third Grade Mandarin Teacher Sara Li, Third Grade English Teacher, Carrina Schindler and Kindergarten English Teacher Kelly Matsushima. Approximately 40 students in total from both classes participated. Samuel William's artwork (right) from the Hope Chinese Charter School was one of three drawings submitted from the third grade for the competition.

2017 Portland Suzhou Student Exchange Program

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January of this year 2017, seventy seven students and 9 teachers from 5 schools in Suzhou had an extraordinary opportunity to experience Portland and our Portland-Suzhou Sister City Schools, and most of all to make new friends. It was also an opportunity for these students and teachers to experience a snow storm, an unusual experience for both cities.

Hosford Middle School hosted 27 students 3 teachers from Lida Middle School and ten students and their teacher from Dongshan Moli Middle School. The International School hosted 24 students and 2 teachers from Suzhou Experimental Elementary School. The Hope Chinese Charter School hosted 15 students and 2 teachers from Jiangsu Primary School which is attached to Xinsu Normal School. The French American International School hosted 6 students and 1 teacher from Jingfan Middle School. Jackson Middle School hosted students and teachers from Suzhou No. 10 Middle School.

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PSSCA wishes to thank PSSCA Board Member Kojo Hakam, PPS Mandarin Immersion Curriculum Specialist for Portland Public Schools and Ms. Hanning Bi, Executive Director of Portland’s Skybridge International for helping coordinate these student exchange programs. A number of these schools in Portland will be sending their students to experience Suzhou this year and to practice their Mandarin.

Also a big thanks to Lynne McIntyre, PSSCA President, Alice Lee, Treasurer and Robert Fraser VP, and Board Member Wei Nathan for visiting the schools and participating in their welcoming ceremonies. Each of the schools from Suzhou were presented with a welcoming letter from our Mayor Ted Wheeler.

2016 Portland Suzhou Exchange Program

Portland, Oregon February 1, 2016 Portland has once again hosted six school exchange programs representing approximately 100 students from middle and high schools from Suzhou China. This program occurs during the Chinese, “Spring Break” time period when students have two weeks of vacation.

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This program contributes to the ongoing success in promoting Portland as an excellent opportunity for a study abroad program for Chinese students interested in our K-12 programs as well as university studies here in Portland. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal the number of Chinese K-12 students rose 290% since 2008. There are now 360,091 Chinese students at US Universities. The benefits are enormous in terms of immediate and future economic development as well as global understanding and cooperation.

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The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association in conjunction with Portland City Hall and Travel Portland participated in the welcoming ceremony for each school from Suzhou. In the cover photo, Bonnie Starkey has presented as a gift to the library of the Suzhou Experimental Elementary School Education Group the “Big and Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver” by Portland author Sharon Wood Wortman and Ed Wortman. Jeff Hammerly, Manager, International Tourism -Asia at Travel Portland provided a Portland Travel Guide in Mandarin and a Portland Souvenir Notebook to record the memories of their visit.  A welcome letter from Mayor Hales was also presented. This presentation was made at the Cascade Heights Public Charter School. The French American International School, Woodstock Elementary School, The International School, Hosford Middle School and Cleveland High School also participated in the Suzhou Student Exchange program. Portland Board members presenting also included, Wei Nathan, Jenny Dong, Dr. Gao, Lynne McIntyre and Robert Fraser.

This exchange program which was first initiated by PSSCA could not be possible without the support of parents, teachers and school administrators as well coordinators Kojo Hakam, Curriculum Specialist, Portland public Schools Mandarin Immersion Program, and Hongyu Cai, Director of Skybridge International based in Portland, Oregon, a subsidiary of the Wuzhong Group, Suzhou, China.

The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association is a non-profit organization of volunteers whose mission is the promotion of educational, cultural exchanges and business development between our two cities. Our annual fundraising Evening Under the Stars Gala is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and is open to the Public. For additional information and sponsorships, contact Robert Fraser, Secretary at rjf@fraserglobalsourcing.com.