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Guangyuan Schools Visit Hefei Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance

The Foundation invited representatives from our 16 Guangyuan project schools, the Lizhou District Education Bureau of Guangyuan City and Tao Xingzhi Research Association to join us in Hefei from 17 to 19 May. We were delighted that a total of 34 delegates visited the Hefei Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance to further deepen the connection between our Alliance Schools.

This gathering presented an important opportunity to allow the principals and teachers of Guangyuan Library Model Project Schools to intuitively experience the happy reading culture advocated by the Foundation and its perceptible and observable elements.  We used this opportunity to further encourage the Guangyuang project school representatives to set  goals and directions to further enhance their library and reading programs.

Activities itinerary:

May 17 May 18 May 19
Morning Visit Hefei Weigang Primary School Visit to Hefei Chaohu Road Primary School Visit to Hefei Taihu Road Primary School
Afternoon Visit Hefei Wanghu Primary School (West District) Visit to Hefei Qingnian Road Primary School Organization summary exchange meeting

The Hefei Alliance has been deeply involved in the field of children’s reading for ten years, and has various types of member schools. Given the characteristics of the Guangyuan project schools and the stage of development of the project, the Foundation arranged to visit a total of five schools representing four types of Alliance schools.  Two were urban schools with limited resources, another was a new large school located in the suburbs, and a traditional key school in the urban area and a school that has developed rapidly after joining in the Alliance. In addition to a tour of the campus and library, the five Alliance schools shared their experiences and journeys.

On the morning of May 17, the Guangyuan team visited Weigang Primary School. Mrs. Jin Yan, the principal of Weigang Primary School and the secretary-general of the Alliance, gave a demonstration of a library class. The teacher librarian introduced how the school uses the library as a center to promote reading and learning. Finally, Principal Jin shared the Alliance’s ten-year development history and encouraged the Guangyuan team:” As long as we firmly believe in reading, we will eventually cook a pot of delicious stone soup”. In the afternoon, the Guangyuan team visited Wanghu Primary School (West District), an experienced school which we rankat levels L4 to L5 (the Alliance divides the building of a happy reading culture on campus into six levels from L0 to L5). The Guangyuan team observed two reading classes in which mathematics and physical education teachers integrated reading into their subject teaching. In the lecture sharing, Wanghu Primary School introduced how their school is systematically constructed as a school in a library.

On the morning of May 18, the team visited a recently joined member of the Alliance  that has developed relatively fast——Chaohu Road Primary School. The Guangyuan team observed a library class in two groups: “Mind Map of Reading Literacy” and a reading class, and then the school presented the “Brothers and Sisters Telling Stories” activity usually organized by the school. Through the introduction of parent volunteers and subject teachers, they shared the valuable experience of different roles in the construction of the happy reading culture on campus. In the afternoon, the Guangyuan team came to the headquarters of Qingnian Road Primary School and observed the activities of silent reading and storytelling at noon. The introduction of Mrs. Jiang Ying, the director of the school library, let everyone clearly see the responsibilities and abilities of a teacher librarian – she needs to work with all the teachers in the school to plan and manage the work of the school library, and then support the teachers and students’ teaching and learning.


On the morning of the last day, the Guangyuan team visited Taihu Road Primary School. The school not only introduced the experience of library operation, but also showed the rich community activities on campus, and saw the school’s educational goal of supporting the all-round development of students.


At the visit summary meeting in the afternoon, the Guangyuan project schools shared their own observations and reflected on four elements (people, books, time, and environment) around the alliance building reading culture, and then initially identified the challenges and opportunities of their own schools based on the learnings of this trip.

This visit has deepened the knowledge and understanding of the principals and teachers of our Guangyuan project schools about the four elements of building a whole-school reading culture. While admiring the achievements of the Stone Soup Alliance, they also respected that the Alliance schools have made reading promotion as the school’s daily work and a basic education goal, and have been doing so for ten years. This exchange and learning have laid the foundation for Guangyuan School’s next project management work to clarify the school’s action goals according to the school’s own resource conditions.

We were pleased with the learnings derived from this gathering – for both the visitors from Guangyuan project schools and the host schools from the Hefei Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance.