The Community Mentor Club’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for JHU students to connect with the local community. Carey is the place where business is taught with humanity in mind, and the Community Mentor Club aims to connect native Mandarin speakers at JHU with a local elementary school with a population of 100+ students learning Mandarin in the areas of Science and Math. Carey students will visit a local public school, meet children studying their language, learn more about American education, and meet native English speaking members of the community. In turn, the community members will learn about Chinese culture via presentations and discussions with Carey students, gain assistance for their children with homework, and help strengthen their children’s language acquisition.
To launch the program, the Community Mentor Club reached out to College Gardens Elementary School in Maryland this year. College Gardens has a Chinese immersion program with about 150 students.
Moon Festival Event
The first event took place on Sep 30th, when the school held a meeting with parents from the Chinese immersion program. A team of about 20 graduate students from JHU, led by Rebecca Bonco and Caitlin Magidson from the Career Development Office, participated in the event. CMC members interacted with two groups of students of all ages from Kindergarten to Grade 5 in the first 50 minutes, during which time kids learned about Chinese Moon Festival, Chinese vocabulary and did fun crafting activities with fallen leaves. Afterwards, Carey students had small talk with parents regarding specific questions about the program.
Kids in the immersion program enjoyed the activities led by JHU students, and many parents expressed their appreciation and interest of future collaboration opportunities. JHU students also felt proud and excited after a successful event. Below are some of the thoughts from CMC members:
“Children are really creative, and I felt very happy learning with them.” ~ Iris
“The kids are really creative. To my surprise, many of them have already known about Chinese Mid-autumn Festival and even the story behind that. I really enjoyed talking to them and teaching them Mandarin.” ~ Sarah
“The kids in the class are very cute and smart. You can’t help loving them when they sat around you and happily told you they know how to count 1 to 100 in Chinese. I feel achievement even when they learned one word and said it out loud. This event not only gives an opportunity for us to stay with kids and get to know their world, but also offers us a way to promote Chinese culture and an exposure to American culture.” ~ Ada
If you are a Carey student interested in joining the Community Mentor Club, please submit an inquiry through the B-Involved platform.