By Billy Lee, March 2004
This is an opportune time to encourage more interconnecting between our Children from China and the U.S. There is obviously huge interest by the parents and teachers of two groups of U.S. middle school students who will be visiting China with me this April and May. Other schools which hear about such opportunities surely want to learn how this can be arranged for them too.
Much needed is a systematic way for those interested to find ways to connect. The 1990 Institute would like to help establish such a “mechanism” We need help from our friends from both countries.
It seems obvious that at both ends of the Pacific, we need to identify organizations with national net works to serve as Facilitators – to make introductions or match ups for interested schools or groups. Once a link is made, the schools themselves should be able to work out the specific arrangements.
This system should start of slowly and expand or improve naturally. We foresee, however, that eventually there will be thousands and thousands of groups of young children making cultural visits in both directions. The goal is to bridge friendship and understanding among children at an early age. The 1990 Institute will first focus on middle-school students’ common interest in Art and Environment.
At the onset, an enlightened Facilitator most likely needs to employ one additional staff member- a bilingual college graduate- to make introductions for the interested schools. A small fee can be charged for each introduction after some proven success. The 1990 Institute will try to raise the necessary funds to support this new hire. That amount will not be too great.
This experiment can be explored for a year or two. It can be terminated afterwards or continued. The 1990 Institute holds a positive and optimistic vision.