Rotarian will travel to China as part of vocational training team

Joanne Laird, past president of the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise, will be traveling to Lanzhou, Ghansu China, as part of a Rotary International Vocational Training Team (VTT) Project. VTTs are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about a particular field or to learn more about their own. Teams are funded by district and global grants.

Laird will be traveling as part of a three-member team going to Gansu (Northwestern) China and was invited to participate by Past District Gov. of Rotary District 5170 (Northern California) Joe Hamilton. The sponsoring Rotary Club is the Rotary Club of Cupertino, Calif. Laird was a school administrator in Cupertino from 1988-2003, when she retired and moved to Maui.

This VTT project aims to improve rural educational quality in China. As a VTT team member, Laird will teach English, pedagogy, e-learning, classroom management and American culture to up to 30 rural elementary English teacher trainees in China. The goal is to provide the trainees with better tools in teaching English and improving general pedagogy.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share my expertise in teaching English and sharing our instructional strategies with teachers in rural China,” said Laird. “In 2007 my husband and I traveled through China for 24 days as tourists – this will be experiencing China ‘with new eyes.’ It was such an honor to be invited to participate.”

For more information about Rotary, contact Laird, who also serves as Rotary Maui public relations chair, at 757-0981 or via email at mamalrd@jps.net.