KC Friendship School

[Aug. 2011] Students from Kansas City Made a World of Difference

Brookridge Elementary Principal Sue Adams and 4 KC students made a special and memorable

trip to KC Friendship School in Shaanxi Province, China in July. More than 60 local students learned

various topics such as English, science, geography, music, and origami from their friends of Kansas City.


Sue Teaching English            Andy on Geography          Timmy Li on Science

Kevin Preparing for Class     Chris Teaching Music     Kids Love Balloons with Signatures

Note By a Chinese Student


Trip coverage on Kansas City Chinese Journal

Page 1 , page 2

Shawnee Mission School District News

Brookridge Principal Sue Adams Visits Sister School in China

Email from Principal Adams to parents during the trip

China Trip Reunion Party

Aug. 13, 2011, Hosted by Cici and Linheng Li, all parents and students involved in the 2011 trip to KC Friendship School shared their exciting stories and pictures about the teaching trip to Yanzibian China.


See more slide show …




[Nov. 2010] Brookridge Elementary Overland Park Becomes Sister-school

Chinese Club at Brookridge – Nov. 11 First Night

More than 40 students had a great time at Brookridge Elementary in Overland Park on Nov. 11 with Ms. Jing Jin and volunteers by attending the first evening of their weekly Chinese Club. They learned basic conversation skill, characters, and a song called “Thankful Hearts” – the song they are going to perform during the 2011 Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 5 2011 at John County Community College.

Chinese Sister School in Kansas City – Brookridge Elementary

Sister school partnership kickoff night was successfully held at Brookridge Elementary school (9920 Lowell, Overland Park, KS 66212, Shawnee Mission School District) on November 1st, 2010. Over 200 students and parents showed up at the Sister School Kick-off event with KC Friendship School rebuilt by KCCAA and the Chinese Community in Kansas City after the May 2008 earthquake in China.

CJ Wei, the president of KCCAA introduced the history and current status of KC Friendship school in Ning Qiang County, Shaanxi Province China. Principle Sue Adams gave a speech of why Brookridge wants to set up partnership with KC Friendship School. Frederick Jiang, School project leader read the letter from KC Friendship School on behalf of Principle Guo, Xing.  Andy Yu shared his unforgettable experience visiting KC Friendship school in 2008. Jing Jin, Chinese Club leader announced the formation of Chinese Club at Brookridge Elementary School to help better communication between two schools. A plaque in memory of the sister school partnership was given to Brookridge Elementary School principle Dr. Sue Adam.

Dancers from Jasmine dance group and Zhang Li Dance School performed wonderful dances for the students and parents. Confucius Institute brought a great puppet show and all kinds of activities to the event.
Many volunteers helped out on this event and they will continue their help on Chinese Club project. Their names are: Jessica Yin, Jie Lee, Ella Shao, Emily Gao, Cindy Wang, March Zeng, Andy Yu, Rigena Yan, Cindy Wang.

All pictures were taken by Huaiyu Ren.

Thank you, volunteers! We can’t do it without you!

The Kansas City Chinese American Association sponsors the partnership after having rebuilt the Friendship School. A catastrophic earthquake hit the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu tri-province area in China on May 12, 2008 which destroyed the school.  Thus the KCCAA raised the funds to build a replacement school.

Our partnership project will include hosting a Chinese Club and Chinese Language Classes for students.  All students will produce Chinese artwork in art classes and recognize Chinese New Year.  We will be corresponding with our sister school students through artwork and pictures.

Kick-off event includes

  • Multimedia presentation about the Friendship School, Fun activities, Chinese food
  • Introduction of members of The Kansas City Chinese American Association
  • Plaque dedication to Brookridge Elementary from KCCAA

[June 2010] KCCAA Final Payment Delivered to Authority

Fred Jiang, the Chairperson of the KC Friendship School Project has confirmed that the final payment from KCCAA to the authority in China for our KC Friendship School building construction has been delivered as of June 13 2010. This marks the completion of the construction phase of the school rebuild project.

Congratulations to all the people who have contributed to this challenging and historical endeavor. We are looking forward to our further collaboration and communication with our KC Friendship School in Shaanxi Province China that will benefits children and communities between Kansas City and Ning Qiang County China.

[March 2010] KC Friendship School Building Passes Inspection

[March 2010] 200 Students Moved Into Brand New Classrooms

The latest from our KC Friendship School – The winter break is over and all students have moved into the brand new classrooms. In one picture, kids are reading “USA Book”. Our teachers are enjoying their new offices too. The students who won our first round of scholarship received their awards with pride.

[flagallery gid=15 name=”2010 Spring KC Friendship School Updates”]

以下是学生在开学典礼上的致辞

题目《播种希望,憧憬未来》

尊敬的各位老师、亲爱的同学们:

大家好!

虎年假期的余热还没有完 全褪去,新的学年已经悄悄来临。新学年新希望,新机遇,新气象,而今年让我们全校师生感到既高兴又兴奋的事情,就是当虎年的一缕缕阳光照耀大地时,我们能 坐在宽敞明亮,舒适优雅的新校舍里学习生活,我们真的感到很幸福,很骄傲。

回首过去不平凡的2009年,我们在如梭的岁月中,满怀着对未来的梦想和憧憬,怀着对新校园的殷切渴望和期待,今天我们的梦想终于在美籍叔叔、阿姨、大哥哥、大姐姐及国际友人的爱心帮助和无私奉献中实现了,我们从内心里对他们大爱无疆的深切 关怀和帮助表示深深的感谢!我们时刻也都会怀着一颗感恩的心,努力拼搏,勇于探索,好好学习,为我们堪城友谊小学争光,从而尽力去回报所有关心帮助我们的 人们,用自己的实际行动不断去书写自己辉煌灿烂的人生篇章!

同学们,轻风锁不信流云,流云带走了岁月。在过去的日子里,无论你是否拥有过欢笑,拥有过阳光,这都已成为永远的记忆,即使以前的成绩很好,也不能骄傲自满;即使以前的成绩很差,更不能垂头丧气。因为那已是过去,过去已成为历史,不代表现在,更不代表未来,“胜不骄,败不馁”才是成功的关键。请同学们再接再厉,以这一次的成功或失败 为契机,不断努力走向下一个成功。

而在这学期,我们六年级 的大哥哥、大姐姐们将要参加毕业考试,但继续奋斗的火炬已正式交接在他们手里,望一望他们在母校所走过的六载学习生活的人生旅程,在不经意间,他们自己已 从荆棘丛中踏出一条小路来,那上面铺满了他们亲手所撒下的片片希望的花瓣。他们更知道他们唯有向前奔跑,一直要不断通向奋斗的终点,这才是他们的人生选 择,这亦是我们堪城友谊小学所有同学所选择的人生!

同学们,天,其实并不高,海,其实也不远;“铿锵玫瑰,风雨彩虹”,梦若在,心就在;有梦,敢做就能圆;有歌,敢唱就能红,其实收获的季节不完全在自然界中,她也蕴藏在我们每一位堪城友谊小学同学们的 心中。让我们在前进的道路上策马扬鞭,以饱满的热情迎接新的挑战,为堪城友谊小学的未来而奋斗!让鲜花和掌声永远与堪城友谊小学的同学们相伴,让我们共同 的家园—–堪 城友谊小学永远美丽舒适。

同学们,“千里之行,始 于足下”,让我们扬起理想的风帆,在新的起点上,鼓足力量,奋勇冲刺,避过所有的浅滩,最终到达成功的彼岸!最后我也衷心祝愿我校所有的老师和同学:身体健康,心想事成!

谢谢大家!

四年级学生:冯嘉媛

2010年3月12日

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[Feb. 2010] Congratulations to our KCCAA 2009 Volunteer Of The Year Award Winners.

KC local high school students Yuqi Hou, Edward Jiang, and Andy Yu heard about our earthquake fund-raising and KC friendship school project, and decided to contribute to this cause. They set up booth in the 2009 Dragon Boat Festival and saved more than $500 by selling hundreds of the little dragon boats. They also donated their earnings from their summer jobs, organized fund-raising at their local schools. Before their trip to China in July 09, 300 school bags with the “KC Friendship School logo” were ordered and made in China.


A grueling, exhausting trip began with a 20-hour flight to the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. Led by Andy Yu’s farther – Xiaoqiang Yu, UMKC Biology professor, they spent another 10 hours, traveling on difficult and sometimes dangerous mountain road before arriving at Yanzibian Village in Ningqiang County. They could not wait to tell the local students and their parents that their devastation and hardship from the earthquake are not forgotten. People from Kansas City in American are here to lend them a helping hand.

They arrived at the 燕子砭village on July 13th, greeted by the local school board officials and the school principal GUO. They visited the school’s temporary classrooms, the construction site of the main school building.

July 14th, the school hosted a welcoming ceremony. Brand new school bags, filled with notebooks were distributed to the students. In addition, basket balls, musical instruments, library books were also donated to the school.

Despite heavy and non-stop rain, our 3 volunteers visited nearly twenty student homes, played games with the kids, taught them English, and tried to learned proper Chinese from the local kids.


They ended their memorable and meaningful trip on July 18th by saying goodbye to the people from Yanzibian Village.

Our community is proud of these children and hope that there will be more youngsters like them who will get involved in community service.


October 2009, the president of Waddell & Reed Mr. Mike Avery accompanied by the Senior VP Fred Jiang, who is also the chairperson of the KC Friendship School Committee, visited our KC Friendship School. 6 brand new laptops were donated to the students. They visited the construction site and expressed their commitment of their continuous support to this great project.

2008年五月十二号汶川的强烈地震牵动了每一个中国人的心, 海外华人也不例外。 除了捐款捐物, 还十分关注救灾和灾后重建的每一个进程. 当堪城华人将在灾区捐建小学的消息传来,  来自本地不同学校的三个高中生自愿组成了一个暑期义工小组。

他们首先决定通过自己勤工俭学,筹集资金向灾区的孩子们表心意。他们利用业余时间为同学编辑图片, 在龙舟节上义卖龙舟, 总共筹集到$532,为灾区的孩子们在中国定做了300个带有” 堪城友谊小学”标志的四款书包。余安迪在他就读的高中发起了捐赠学习用具的活动, 受到了广大的支持。在成行之前, 为了更好地了解学生和学生家庭情况, 他们精心地准备了几套调查问卷。

酷暑难挡的七月, 期盼已久的越洋义工之旅开始了。三个高中生通过近二十小时的长途飞行,于七月十号晚上抵达上海。次日凌晨,他们不顾长途旅行的疲惫,和从深圳赶来的一个初中生一起在余安迪父亲的带领下,从上海飞往西安。当天下午,在西安的几个热心人帮助下,他们用堪城华人的捐款为灾区的孩子们购买了学习用品、体育用品、图书、电子琴等。第二天(十二号),他们携带着这些捐赠品,乘坐长途公共汽车,经过近六个小时的盘山公路到达宁强县。县教育局的王科长和燕子砭镇矿区小学的郭校长到车站迎接他们。因天色已晚,县城到燕子砭镇还有两个多小时的盘山公路,他们在县城停留了一个晚上。十三号早上他们乘车终于抵达燕子砭镇,受到灾区孩子们的热烈欢迎。下午,他们马不停蹄地参观了灾区孩子们的临时教室和正在建设中的堪城友谊小学,以及燕子砭镇的中心卫生院和矿区卫生院,了解灾区孩子们的医疗、卫生状况。十四号早上在矿区小学举行了简单的捐赠仪式,他们把堪城华人捐赠的学习用品、体育用品、电子琴、图书以及他们自己捐赠的书包一起捐给了矿区小学。当孩子们背着新书包,拿着新的学习用品,个个脸上笑逐颜开。在随后的几天时间里,尽管燕子砭镇下着暴雨,他们还是冒雨家访了十多家灾区的孩子,和孩子们一起玩游戏,教他们学英语,也向他们学更标准的中文。七月十八号,他们依依不舍地离开了燕子砭,经宁强回到西安,结束了短暂但又意义非凡的暑期义工。

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[Jan. 2010] The latest update from沈家坝小学

The school building construction is completed and the quality inspection is under the way. The residual portion of the funding for construction will be delivered to China once the final inspect result is satisfactory.

While we are still waiting for the school to provide us the latest pictures, we are very thankful of all the support, contribution, sacrifice we witness since the earthquake in May 2008. Countless volunteers dedicated themselves to this great project despite roadblocks, criticism, rumors, and obstacles. On behalf of all the donors and people who support this project since day one, our thanks go out to everyone who made this project a great success so far.

KCCA is planning to continue involve our community with this project. More updates will be published to inform you about the status of the school project and volunteer opportunities for our upcoming summer program. Thanks for your continuous support for this great cause!

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History

After the catastrophic earthquake measuring 8.0 on Richter scales hit the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu tri-province area in China on May 12, 2008, claiming more than 69,000 lives and displacing more than 5 million people, the Kansas City Chinese Association (KCCA) initiated and spearheaded a massive fund-raising effort to provide much-needed relief to the disaster areas. With great enthusiasm and significant contributions, KCCA teamed up with the Confucius Institute, Waddell & Reed and Black & Veatch, and many other corporations, organizations, and the general public, and made this fund-raising a record setting event in Kansas City Chinese community history.

Educational needs were identified as the top priority for the use of these funds since tens of thousands of school children were displaced from their badly damaged schools. A steering committee consisting of representatives from KCCA, the Confucius Institute, Waddell & Reed and Black & Veatch was created to oversee this “KC Friendship School” project.

Based on the amount of money donated from each major party, proportionally, the “KC Friendship School Project Committee” was formed by representatives from multiple organizations (see below for details). The school committee nominated Fred Jiang as the Director of the school project, and he was given the authority to manage the daily operation and fund allocation.

Several school applications were received and reviewed by the committee, including Jinzishan Village Elementary school (金子山乡中 心小学), Yinsha Village Elementary school (银沙村小学) and Yingpan Village Elementary school (营盘乡中心小学) in Qingchuan County (青川县) in Sichuan (四川) Province.

But due to the popularity Sichuan Province received worldwide after the earthquake, a record number of charity organizations, corporations were eager to provide funding for school rebuild effort in Sichuan. Our limited funding was not enough for us to secure a contract with any of the schools listed above. After careful evaluation and tremendous help from Chinese government,the School Committee selected “宁强县燕子砭镇沈家坝小学” in Shaanxi (陕西) Province. The school is located near the Sichuan / Shaanxi border, right in the middle of the earthquake disaster area. The earthquake damaged the main school building that held nearly 200 students. Our earthquake donation money could go much further to help this elementary school and surrounding area for their educational needs. The local government and school board were very cooperative and appreciative of our generosity.

KC Friendship school map

KC Friendship school map

KC Friendship School Rebuild Project Plan

KC Friendship School Project Plan (word document)

KC Friendship School Contract

Question and Answers about KC Friendship School Project

Question 1 – The donations were disaster Relief, why we used that to build a school?

There were many organizations in KC Chinese community called for donations after the earthquake, including the Society of Friendship with China, Tsinghua University Alumni Association, etc. During our KCCA donation campaign, it was clearly stated in our marketing materials that the proceeds KCCA received would be used to rebuild school and help with school needs (not earthquake emergency relief Fund). Click this link for our marketing flier.

Earthquake Donation-flier 4 -KCCA (PDF)

Nevertheless, to respect each donor’s intention on how to utilize the proceeds, KCCA solicited votes from all donors through emails, website, email distribution list, See the attachment

2008 Earthquake Donation Choices Letter-final (PDF)

After careful review of all the votes received, KCCA published the vote result through email and website. (See emails below)

KCCA Update on the KCCA Hope Fund Earthquake Relief Efforts

2. Can we have more information of the school project, especially on how fund was managed?

Based on the amount of the donation we actually received, and specific requests from our major donors, a school committee consisting of representatives from KCCA, the Confucius Institute, Waddell & Reed and Black Veatch was created to oversee the “KC Friendship School” project. Please check the announcement. A similar announcement was also made during our Chinese New Year Celebration in 2009.

Sichuan School Project Overview

Although KCCA was the leading organization for the earthquake school-rebuild donation campaign, donations received by KCCA were only a small piece of the whole pie. It was agreed that school project committee has the final decision on fund allocation and project execution based on the donation amount from each party of the school committee. 7 voting seats were allocated within the committee (See below):

The school committee has also nominated Fred Jiang as the Director of the school project. Fred was given the authority to manage daily operation and fund allocation. Based on the school contract, total of 700,000 RMB (approximately $104,000) is committed to the “沈家坝小学”contract, of which 500,000RMB would be used for school building construction. The rest of the 200,000RMB would be allocated for student scholarship, and other school assistance programs. The fund for construction would be transferred to the proper authority in China based on the construction schedule. So far, $60,000 (approximately 400,000RMB) has been sent to China with the unanimous votes from the school committee. The residual portion of the funding for construction will be delivered to China once the final inspect result is satisfactory.

Please note that our earthquake donation bank account at Commerce Bank was controlled by former KCCA treasurer, Andy Wang till October 13 2009, weeks after he resigned from the KCCA board on Sept. 22 2009.

3. How can we be sure that each of the $30,000 did not stay in personal bank account?

Personable bank statements and other paperwork can be available to any donor or government authorities.

The 2 receipts from local authority in China show that the money did arrive in the right account in China.

4. How and why the school project funding was transferred to School through personal account?

A total of $60,000 was transferred to the school so far based on our contract and school building construction schedule. Fred Jiang’s personal account with Bank of China was used to transfer the money for the following reasons:

  • The receiving end in China is a small local credit union. It has no mean to receive funding in USD. Local authority requested that we could only send money in RMB. Fred’s personal account was used to convert money to RMB before bank wire transfer.
  • In addition, using the personal account at the Bank of China offered the most favorable exchange rate and least transaction cost. Fred is acting as an agent without  any compensation. He actually paid the wire transfer fee out of his own pocket. Please click the bank statement and receipts provided by the school to examine the fact that the amount school received was the same amount of money KCCA released to Fred. In addition, Linda Tiller, the International Law attorney and partner of Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP has blessed this particular method we used to transfer the money internationally and verified from legal standpoint that this method is lawful and complies with IRS regulations.

Local school Board RMB Request

5.  Was the school status report sent out before?

The press release for earthquake anniversary was published in May 2009 to keep public informed about the status of the school.

KC Friendship School Project update

Sichuan School Project Overview

6. Any recent updates on the school project?

Representing our community, three high school students and one KCCA member (Professor Yu Xiao Qiang) visited the school during the 2009 summer and verified that the school received our funding and the construction was on schedule. The group also helped deliver 300 school backpacks and many other school supplies to the school students.

Thank You Letter from School

Fred Jiang and another major donor of the earthquake relief fund visited the school in October 09 to check on the construction progress.  6 lap computers were donated to the school.

7. Why the name “燕子砭镇矿区小学“is mentioned?

沈家坝小学 is the official name of the elementary school we sponsor. The school’s old name was “矿区小学”because there was an old mine in the area before. Local people still often use the old name.