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Punahou's connection with China
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Building the relationship

"Our journey to China this time is in part to reinforce the relationship between Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Hawaii," Scott says. In addition to visiting several partner schools, they are also meeting officials from the Ministry of Education to explore the potential structure of a student leadership institute for both Chinese and American students. "We would hope to name this leadership institute after Dr. Sun Yat-sen, taking the attributes and qualities of creativity, innovation, idealism and social responsibility, and transmitting those concepts to tomorrow's leaders, who are the Chinese and American students of today," Scott says. The idea is in an exploratory phase, and the visit is to invite participation of their Chinese counterparts.

In fact, Punahou is already involved in good cooperative relationships with several schools in China. For example, Punahou's school jazz band has visited Huiwen School in Beijing to perform. And Punahou sends students to No. 2 Attached School at Beijing Normal University while hosting 25 teachers from this school for a two-week study program each year. Mr. He Guangzhong, Principal's Assistant of this Chinese school, describes the two-week exchange program as "very fruitful! What we learned wasn't merely instructional approaches and curriculum design, but also their idea of education."

These are but a few examples of Punahou's international cooperative programs. Dr. Scott points out that their overseas program also includes community service. For example, their students came to Baojing in Hunan Province to become involved in teaching English to Chinese middle school students.

There is no doubt that Sun Yat-sen has been an important bridge between Hawaii and China. And he would be pleased to see that more than 100 years later, this connection even exists through everyday people "like me," Scott says. "I am one-quarter Chinese. My maternal grandmother is Chinese and her name is Young. My mother once said that she would come to China for a visit before she died, which was a promise that she made to her mother. I brought her to China a year and a half ago. As we were standing on the Great Wall, she said with satisfaction, 'Son, now I can die'. She meant that she had come to China and fulfilled that promise."

Thank you to Yen Chun, trustee of Soong Ching Ling Foundation, who contributed to this report.

(China.org.cn November 18, 2008)

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