On Friday December 6, 2013, the Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, Wang Zonglai, paid a visit to Orion Academy. During his visit, a number of boxes with resource materials were donated to help facilitate the teaching and learning of the Chinese Language and Culture at the school.
According to a release from the school, the Ambassador noted that “providing Dominican students an opportunity to study Chinese is very beneficial to the further development of the relations between China and Dominica”.
He also announced that the Chinese Embassy will present an award every year for best performance in the Chinese language among the students of the Orion Academy, the release states.
It adds that Orion Academy is a melting pot of nationalities, culture and ethnicity where students, parents and teachers are able to speak a variety of languages including, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Arabic and Chinese.
“As part of the school’s vision and philosophy to cater to the needs and interest of all students, it was realized that it is necessary and important to teach and encourage students to speak a range of languages that will help them to become ‘international individuals.’ At present, the school offers courses in five different languages including Spanish, French , English, German and Chinese,” Orion said in its release.
There are currently two Chinese language teachers at the school and other resources persons who are committed to the program. The Chinese Language course seeks to enable students to achieve a high level of fluency, accuracy and confidence in their ability to communicate in the language.
“Orion Academy is pleased to be collaborating with the Chinese Embassy , leading and setting the stage for the teaching of the Chinese Language and Culture on the island of Dominica,” the release from the school concludes
Meanwhile the board of trustees, principal and staff of Orion Academy has thanked all the sponsors and artists who made the school’s Jazz by the river event a success on Saturday, 30th November 2013.
Jazz by the river is a fundraising production “geared at helping the school to raise funds in order to meet its obligations and maintain its standard of quality education as a private secondary school on the island.”
“Funds raised, generally help the school to continue to cater to its student body through a student centered approach where the needs and interests of the students are the most vital aspects on which teaching strategies are based,” the school stated in its release.
This year was the third time that the event was staged and “was coined ‘Jazz by the river’ as it is a musical extravaganza of enchanting Jazz rhythms, which is held on the school’s beautiful river side grounds at Bath Estate. Jazz by the river is supported by various business and institutions on the island who grant sponsorship and a number of local artists who have a love and appreciation for Jazz music.
Artists who performed at the event included; Marvin Marie & 8th Note Jazz Band, Hilbert Alexander, Jay Grimner, Gelena Fontaine, Elisha Benoit, Hilbert Alexander, Lady S and Caribbean Vibes Combo.
This is expected to be an annual fund raising event at the school.