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Arkansas Global Programs

Bringing China to Arkansas Program

China and the United States are the two most powerful countries in the world and, with their very different political and philosophical tenets and their complex relationship as both competitors and partners, these countries present the world’s most intriguing exercise in international affairs. 

Conflict resolution requires the utmost attention and diplomatic skills; diplomacy requires understanding the reasons for diversity and discrimination, i.e., a sensitization to ideological and cultural differences and stereotypes, and an extensive knowledge of history and institutions.

 BCAP

It entails the long process of getting to know another country and culture. The Bringing China to Arkansas Program represents a small step in this process toward diplomacy with China.  The Bringing China to Arkansas Program provides the first opportunity Arkansas teachers have had to learn about China in-depth. 

It provides direct teacher education and extensive efforts in Arkansas schools and community, and in both countries.  In learning about China’s culture and sharing what they’ve learned with others, Arkansas teachers are improving relations between countries, and through intercultural understanding, are learning important ways of improving human relations at home.

BCAP’s goals are to:

  • Promote cultural understanding of China by providing accurate, hands-on information to Arkansas teachers who share that with their students, colleagues, and the community-at-large;

  • Reduce the insularity of Arkansas by helping internationalize the state, combat negative stereotypes, and bring Chinese and other ethnic groups in Arkansas together for cultural dialogue and the establishment of ongoing bonds; and,

  • Improve relations between the U.S. and China by sharing while in China and fostering educational exchanges and partnerships.

BCAP comprises:

A study program, teacher workshops, a 3-week study tour of China, school and community outreach, participation in teacher conference and international festivals, public lecture series, and a traveling culture exhibit.  BCAP supports the mandate of the Arkansas State Department of Education by integrating reading and writing standards into curriculum development.

By the end of 2005, BCAP had directly impacted 14,768 students, 1,345 teachers, 119 schools, and 70 Arkansas communities.  It also directly impacted attendees at local museum exhibits, professional educational conferences, yearly university symposia, and public programs and lectures at the local and state levels. 

BCAP also reached thousands of additional Arkansans through its website, community outreach at international festivals, school outreach, the traveling exhibit on Chinese culture (currently in Little Rock libraries), and museum exhibits supported by BCAP.  Teacher participants achieved indirect impact on another 27,000 teachers and potentially 456,500 K-12 students in 1,100 schools around Arkansas.

The Bringing China to Arkansas Program is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation.