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Xinglong Vocational School

Raybin Q. Wong/Phelex Fruit Tree Bonsai Farm


Background: Xinglong Vocational School lies at the foot of Yanshan Mountain , at the intersection of Beijing , Tianjin , Tangshan , and Chengde. It is conveniently located 150 kilometers from Beijing , accessible by many forms of public transportation via train or highway. The school building is on the West side of the city and faces the highway. Constructed in 1991, the school has an integrated vocational curriculum.

Currently, there are 1,531 students, among which 62 students are of Manchu heritage. 85% of the student population originates from rural villages. 1,014 students (66.2%) reside at the school. There are 755 students who are below the poverty line (49.3%) and 200 students (13%) who live in extreme poverty, as defined by their inability to pay for subsistence. This subset of the student population relies on school funding and communal donations to provide for education-related expenses, which sums to RMB 1,000/person on an annual basis. Living expenses are about RMB 6/person on a daily basis.

Facts:

Tuition and fees per year RMB 1,000 ($120) Per capita annual income RMB 1,500 ($180)
in 2005
Number of teachers 150 Number of students 1,531
Location Xinglong County, Hebei Province (Click for Map)
 
Photos:
 
                        School (full view)
               Fruit Tree Bonsai (greenhouse)
Project Developments:
  • In September 2005, the financial aid program was launched. Twenty students from nearby mountainous regions received full scholarships from the Raybin Q. Wong Foundation to attend Xinglong Vocational School.
  • In October 2005, school administrators, students and family members of students who accepted financial aid, signed a contract, binding the students to the completion of three years of school.
  • In November 2005, construction of the greenhouse facilities was completed. 5,000 plants were successfully moved to the indoor facilities.
  • On December 8, 2005, Raybin Q. Wong Foundation donated RMB 19,200 to twenty impoverished students.
  • From December 2005 to January 2006, the site adopted better technology to foster the growth of approximately 3,000 peach and plum plants, allowing for an overall increase in temperatures within production greenhouses. The seasonal sale of these plants, which are expected to flower in time for the Spring Festival in February, would be extremely profitable in Beijing.
  • On April 11, 2006, under the auspices of the Phelex Foundation, the U.S.- based Raybin Q. Wong Foundation's Vice-chairmen. Shao Peizhen, visited Xinglong Vocational School. Ms. Shao Peizhen , teachers, and students who accepted funds from the Foundation all participated in open communication regarding the future of financial aid and educational programs at the school. At the end of her visit, she affirmed her support for the school's education models, as well as the successful administration of Xinglong Vocational School.
  • On May 5, 2006, volunteer teachers from the U.S., Mr. and Mrs. Cannon, introduced a new method of English language instruction for Xinglong Vocational School 's Grade 10, Class 3 students. The classroom environment quickly livened up. On the second day, Ms. Susan Cannon held a professional teacher's workshop for language instructors, dividing them up into discussion groups. The introduction of novel educational philosophies and participatory methods of mathematics instruction has been a source of enlightenment and inspiration.


fruit bonsai
Lovely fruit Bonsai on display
Boston Snowden students cheer for the a Bonsai sold at Year 2007 community service in Xinglong. The proceeds go to tuition aid for needy students at the Vocational School.

 

  • Between June 23 and 26 of 2006, teachers and students from Snowden International School in Boston, USA, Guangzhou, Beijing, and other high schools in major cities in China arrived at Xinglong Vocational School . They engaged in cross-cultural classroom discussions, research on the community, and individual sale of fruit bonsai to raise funds for the school, and sightseeing tours of the area.
  • In May 2007, Xinglong Vocational School 's “Raybin Q. Wong/Phelex Fruit Bonsai Farm” has flourished. It is estimated that 1,000 bonsai plants will enter the market, helping Phelex fund student tuition. On May 17, Phelex Foundation's Chairman Zhou Yuan hosted Mr. Herb. Mr. Herb toured the premises and participated in discussions with the school administration regarding future plans for the sustainable development of Xinglong Vocational School. In addition, they evaluated how to improve the curriculum for students majoring in agriculture.
  • Boston Snowden students did community service at the Vacational school for the second time. They help raise funds for Tuition Aid Program by selling Bonsai at Charity Sale. (click here for more about Inner City Kids in China Program)
  • In the Fall of 2007, 55,000RMB worth of Bonsai are sold. the proceeds, as planned go to Tuition Aid Program at Xinglong Vocational School. This tremendous success inspires everyone involved in the program. The proceeds of fruit bonsai sale in 2007 has reached all-year high. Using the money the Vocational School is able to provide 40 needy students with tuition aids, 20 from gardening department and 20 from other majors. The fruit bonsai idea in the meantime has caught attention of national and local television programs including CCTV7 and Chengde station, which received many positive feedback.

 

Adoption Status: Adopted by the Raybin Q. Wong Foundation
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