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Sino-American Culture & Arts Foundation (SACAF), a subsidiary organization of Sino-American Friendship Association focusing on education and arts, hosted "U.S.-China Student Hand-in-hand, East Meets West Educational and Cultural Exchange", a week-long exchange program that aimed to deepen the friendship between the teenagers from the two countries and to enhance the Sino-American educational and cultural exchange. Around 500 Chinese students had participated cultural exchange programs in New York arranged by SACAF. These events provided a fun way for students from both countries to learn each other's culture, a rare opportunity for the American high school students especially for those never been to China.
As New York's largest U.S.-China student cultural exchange event and a first ever visit for Staten Island, NY, the opening ceremony was held on August 1, 2011 at Tottenville High School, Staten Island. Members of the school's marching band engaged 120 Chinese students from Xi'an Middle School for artistic performances and interactive communication on culture and education. The marching band performed both countries' national anthems, followed by the instrumental performances by Chinese students. The visitors were then invited to observe the different elements of the band and to ask questions to their heart's content. Many of the Chinese students were interested in learning more about academic life as well as cultural life in New York. On August 2, 2011, Chinese students visited the Global Technology Middle School in Harlem, New York. Global Tech students welcomed their visitors with a little dance session, and both parties had learned more about each other through a series of small group discussions about their cultures, daily life, hobbies, academic similarities and differences, etc.
This series of exchange programs have drawn tremendous major media attention. These events have been specially reported by China News, State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, World Journal, China Daily, Sino Vision, ifeng.com, Chinese Radio Network News Center, people.com.cn, sina.com.cn, etc.
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