A Brief History of SABEH
The Sino-American Bridge for Education, a volunteer organization, began in 2004. Wanli Hu, then a staff member at Primary Source in Watertown, was very much impressed with Primary Source’s professional development training for American teachers. He was eager to establish an organization to offer similar professional development programs to K-12 teachers in China. His ideas received enthusiastic response and support from a few academic acquaintances, who formed a board.
The first partner in China was Professor Yongli Lu, a professor at Beijing Normal University. The focus of SABEH’s professional development was American culture, student-centered pedagogy and methodology. SABEH recruited three experienced teachers, to teach American methods of teaching, using American culture for content, to Chinese teachers of English. They taught a two-week program in Beijing and a two-week program in Chongqing. Teachers in Beijing came from various parts of China, including 25 from Harbin in the North. Teachers in Chongqing came mainly from the host school in that city. All teachers were enthusiastic about the program.
The second partner in China was Dr. Shan Gao, President of Fuzhou Education College. Shan Gao realized the importance of SABEH and invited SABEH to teach at his college and train K-12 teachers from Fuzhou city.
Although SABEH did not send teachers there until 2008, the organization grew. In 2006-2007, SABEH became incorporated and added Health to its name, thus becoming The Sino-American Bridge for Education and Health, Inc.