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Designing a “Win-Win” Mandarin Storytelling Program between Schools and Museums

July 16, 2011

From the CAIS Institute blog

By Elaine Connell (Photos by KazTsuruta)

The two-year-old Mandarin Storytelling Program developed through the collaboration of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco has been an exciting and thoroughly rewarding success.

The inspiration for the program was the Museum’s 16 year old Storytelling Program where the museum’s storytellers bring the galleries to life by telling tales from Asia’s most beloved myths and folktales. From “How Ganesha Got His Elephant Head” to the “Inch High Samurai”, visitors of all ages can delight in the richness and wonder of these classic stories. The Storytelling program has grown in popularity, annually attracting 5,000 second and third grade students and their teachers.

With the idea of integrating Mandarin Chinese learning into the Museum’s storytelling program model, the Education Staff and Story Corps officers at the Asian Art Museum approached Maria Martinez, a multi-lingual language specialist from the SFUSD. The immediate goal was to gain the district’s endorsement and its assistance in finding a high school and elementary school Mandarin language teacher to help develop and participate in the program.

Read more here.

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