ABC Spring 2014 TALENT Graduation #1
Dear ABC Friends and Family,
On the morning of the 1st June, 2014, a sense of excitement filled the air in St Paul’s American School, Beijing. Over five hundred people, including 381 TALENT program students and migrant teachers, 93 volunteers and 36 staff and guests, gathered together to celebrate the TALENT graduation, a momentous event in the ABC calendar.
The graduation allows each participant to celebrate their successful completion of the program, and gives all participants the opportunity to showcase the activities from the semester. This day culminated a full year of hard work and dedication and promised an extremely action-packed and exciting day for all.
All schools were assembled at 9.30am for the welcome speech given by members of ABC’s core staff and watched thegraduation video, which included photos and videos of the different acitivities of the TALENT program over the past year.
Following the introduction, the musicians and dancers retreated to their separate rooms for some final rehearsal preparation, while other students viewed the Art Show and entered into the interim rounds of the Ping-pong and Basketball Tournament.
Altogether six teams from three different schools came to the graduation to compete in a basketball tournament. The students thoroughly enjoyed the competitive but fair nature of the games. One of the girls noted that the basketball tournament served as a perfect platform for her to exercise as well as have fun. Overall, the tournament was a great success that really emphasized the 4C's core values: Confidence, Courage, Commitment, andCare.
Five of the six schools took part in the Music performances, creating a varied and exciting show. Pengying school opened the show with a percussion and vocal performance of the British song “We will rock you,” which was followed by performances using vocals and melodies of well-known Chinese music by Xinyuan school and Hongqi school. Shuren school then performed fantastic renditions of two Chinese songs and Qinghonglan gave two impressive recorder performances. One participant told us that performing onstage was her favorite experience from the TALENT program.
In a room surrounded by framed student artwork from the semester, art students painted together with their teachers forthe last time. With large canvases, paint colors, and paintbrushes scattered across the ground, students created beautiful and vibrant paintings. The paintings ranged from a mountain landscape to pig and fish astronauts in outer space. As stated by Zhang Bohao, a third grader at the Xinyuan School, he enjoys art and ABC in general; he helped to paint birds in class, but on the day of the graduation, he helped to paint flowers.
In the afternoon, Pengying school took part in an intra-school Ping-pong competition. Participants were divided into four groups according to age and gender and played a knock-out tournament in each group, producing four victorious winners. One participant mentioned that playing against her close friends had made her even more competitive, but when her friend narrowly beat her in the final, she thought that this was a fair victory and was very happy for her friend.
In the morning, the dancers from Xinyuan school gathered together in the Ping-pong room for some final preparation of their two dances: “Honey” and “Molihua”. The dance volunteers carefully applied their makeup and changed into their two outfits: coordinated yellow, red, blue and pink t-shirts and trousers for “Honey” and sparkly green dresses with flowers for “Molihua”. One of the dancers mentioned that “this was the prettiest she’d ever felt”.
Later in the day, the students performed their two dances perfectly and many of them thought that performing in front of such a large audience was by far their favorite part of the day. Some of the students mentioned that, even though they had been nervous, performing alongside their friends had calmed their nerves so that they could completely enjoy the performance.
At the end of the day, all participants came together for the Awards Ceremony, where the top students in each activity from each school were awarded prizes and the best pieces of Artwork were given recognition. Following this, everyone gathered together for a group photo and the founder of ABC gave a motivational speech, expressing his wish that we would all become volunteers.
The TALENT program aims to empower students, encourage individuality and emphasize the importance of teamwork. The sense of confidence among participants, the enthusiastic support for their classmates and the creativity in Music, Dance and Art powerfully demonstrated how each and every participant had grown throughout the program and thoroughly deserved all the recognition and applause given throughout the day.
(Special thanks to intern Kate William for writing this report)
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