ESCANABA - MSU Extension 4-H Programs and the City of Escanaba Public Library will be hosting a free hands-on cultural and artistic discovery of China 6-7:30 Tuesday in Room 101 of the City Hall Complex. The program is intended for youth in grades kindergarten through grade 6 and their families. Participants will explore nine or ten original pictures by Chinese children and then create their own pieces of art work. These visual letters, pictures relaying a message about life in the U.P. and/or the United States, are then submitted to the State 4-H Office in Lansing. A selection of all artwork submitted from throughout Michigan artwork is then sent as a gift to the children of China.
The Michigan 4-H China Project, conducted in cooperation with the People's Republic of China, is a global education program that provides youth a chance to learn of the many similarities between their lives and the lives of their counterparts halfway around the world and gain a sense of being part of one world. It is important that children develop bridges of awareness, understanding and appreciation of other cultures. If these bridges, or experiences, are vivid enough and tied to a child's daily life, they will last a lifetime and affect his or her adult decisions and behaviors.
China is an important country to study because one-fifth of the world's people live there. Geographically, China is the third largest country in the world - only Canada and Russia are larger. The Chinese culture, which is more than 3500 years old, is the oldest continuously-existing culture in the world. It embodies traditions rich in the arts, sciences and philosophy. China is also home to the fastest-growing economy in the world. It is a country that our children and young people must be prepared to understand and negotiate with in the future.
The Michigan 4-H China Art Project kit is also available for use by youth groups through November. Contact Dave Radloff, 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator 786-3032.