ASEP: After School Enrichment Program

ASEP Mission

To provide a quality after school enrichment program for Meyerholz Elementary school and the Cupertino Language Immersion Program focusing on Chinese Culture and Language.

About ASEP

ASEP is a fully self-funded non-profit program. Professional instructors, chosen for their specialties, come on site at Meyerholz Elementary to teach the classes. Having the classes after school and on school premises, allows ASEP to offer high level education that is convenient for parents and a fraction of the cost of similar classes. The large number of parent volunteers are key in keeping the overhead low and the quality high.

ASEP History

CLIP’s After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) was started by CLIP parent volunteers during the 2006-2007 academic year and moved under the CLIPCO umbrella in 2008. Classes are open to all CLIP and Meyerholz Elementary students.

ASEP initially started with three major components, after school classes, Chinese language contests and Chinese New Year Parade Team. Due to the size and success of the language contest and parade team, both programs were split off and managed as their own entity.

The classes offered have varied over the years. Each year ASEP has provided an average of eight classes each year. They range from performing arts to visual arts and from traditional techniques to modern.

About ASEP

ASEP is a fully self-funded non-profit program. Professional instructors, chosen for their specialties, come on site at Meyerholz Elementary to teach the classes. Having the classes after school and on school premises, allows ASEP to offer high level education that is convenient for parents and a fraction of the cost of similar classes. The large number of parent volunteers are key in keeping the overhead low and the quality high.

Asep Performances

Each year, ASEP puts on two major showcase performances, one during the winter and the other in spring. This allows the kids to showcase all they’ve learned each semester. The visual arts classes also get a chance to shine at these events through slide shows and displays at the events.

ASEP Policies

Classes Offered

  • Zhongruan – Chinese plucked string instrument
  • Chinese Dance (Chinese/Modern)
  • Lion Dance
  • Chinese Flute
  • Go – Chinese Board Game
  • Erhu – Chinese 2-stringed fiddle
  • Chinese Percussion
  • Wushu
  • Brush painting
  • Cooking

CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE

The Meyerholz/CLIP San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade Team was started by CLIP parent volunteers in the fall of 2004. The next spring, the team made their debut appearance in the 2005 Year of the Rooster parade, dancing in colorful rooster costumes and playing Chinese drums. The team has since marched proudly through the streets of San Francisco’s Union Square and Chinatown in each subsequent parade. This past February, the team once again marched in a Year of the Rooster parade, marking the start of the team’s second cycle through the Chinese zodiac. This time, the students brought to life the Chinese folktale Dragon Borrows Rooster’s Antlers, with marchers portraying roosters and a dragon while percussionists pounded out a dramatic beat on Chinese drums and cymbals.

Each journey into San Francisco for the world-famous parade provides an exciting experience for participating students and supporting family members alike. Even teachers, CLIP principals and assistant principals, and dignitaries such as the mayor of Cupertino or CUSD board members and superintendents join in on the fun as banner holders and bus chaperones. The team marches in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the 1.2 mile parade route and cheer for the team and their dazzling routines. Over the years, students have performed as lions, tigers, warriors, spirit hunters, villagers, maidens, flag bearers and more. With their beautiful costumes, brightly-colored spiked hair, and booming drum beats, the team is always a crowd favorite. Occasionally, we are lucky enough to be featured on the television broadcast and students get the thrill of seeing themselves perform on primetime TV. The team has been honored multiple times over the years for their performances, garnering several 1st and 2nd place trophies from the panel of parade judges.

The parade team is a self-funded and volunteer-run program. Participation is open to all students at Meyerholz and to CLIP middle school students (previously at Lawson, currently at Miller). Each fall, a core group of parent volunteers, who form the Parade Committee, meet to decide on that coming year’s theme and performance. The routines typically highlight Chinese folktales and legends so that the audience can learn more about Chinese culture. The team has presented classic stories such as The Legend of Madame White Snake, the Ballad of Mulan, the Five Divine Rams, and Monkey Fishes for the Moon. Once the parade application is submitted and an invitation to perform at the parade is received, all parent volunteers spend the next several months directing every aspect of the team, including dance and drumming instruction, designing costumes and props, managing weekly practices, and taking photos and videos to commemorate the experience. High schoolers who are parade alumni have come back to volunteer as instructors as well. Volunteering is critical to the success of the parade team. Volunteers ensure that practices run smoothly and that all logistical details are handled so that the students can shine during their performance on the big day.


CLIP ART

ABOUT CLIP ART

CLIP Art is a language/cultural enrichment art class funded by parents’ direct donations to CLIPCO. CLIP students get CLIP Art (taught in Mandarin), as well as regular art (taught in English, and funded by parents’ donations to PTA). CLIP Art is taught once a month, and each class is 1 ½ hour-long. The class structure is comprised of presentation, discussion, application and debriefing.

AN EXAMPLE OF A CLIP ART LESSON

In April 2009 we compared a contemporary Chinese artist working in California to a contemporary abstract artist from New York as well as a traditional Chinese artist from 500 hundred years ago. The students then created splash ink paintings using some of the contemporary Chinese artist’s methods as well as their own. All the students, from kindergarten through eighth grade, were very enthusiastic about this project.

At the end of each lesson, we have a verbal debriefing of the students’ experience, or, if time allows, the students write about it in Mandarin. Throughout the lesson, students are encouraged to speak their mind, develop critical thinking, and express their creativity in their art.

CLIP ART CURRICULUM

Each month our CLIP Art teachers, Ms. Chwen Lim, Ms. Phoebe Kao and Ms. Karen Tseng, show the students a presentation on a different artist or art form. The teachers make sure to tie in elements from the students’ curriculum, such as language arts, geography, science, history and social studies. During the presentation, a lively dialogue in Mandarin almost always ensues!

NOTABLE CLIP ART CREATIONS

In the past, many CLIP Art pieces were exhibited in the Cupertino Union School District office and in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose. Several students’ works were also selected for The Santa Clara County Office of Education’s permanent art collection.

Plum Blossom Finger Painting – combines poetry and Chinese painting style
Flour Dough Pigs and Cardboard Pig Sty – traditional folk art
Tree Sketchbook – observe different types of trees, and learn the many ways to use lines to sketch
Dragon Class Banner – learn the symbolism embedded in a dragon
Calligraphy – students create new Chinese characters and giving them meaning
Roses in the Salad – Using cross-sections of Chinese vegetables to create flower prints
Mouse Bride – sewing Chinese fragrant pouches in the shapes of the characters in “Mouse Bride”
Calligraphy – writing 100 Fu (Blessing), Lu (Prosperity) and Shou (Longevity) characters in zhuan style
Chinese Peasant Painting – Learn traditions and the meaning of colors through peasant paintings
Native American Symbols – using dough to tell stories
Frog Painting – learn about frogs and how our environment is affecting them, combines poetry and brush painting
Story Snail – Puppet-making using recycled materials; 3rd grade students staged a puppet show
Splash Ink Paintings – experiment with ink, water, color, detergent and salt, then create details with a fine brush; students also create their own seals and inscribe their paintings
Celebration of Dragon Boat Festival – students learned the story of Chinese poet Qu Yuan, sewed fragrant pouches in the shape of a rice dumpling and learned how to wrap a real, edible, rice dumpling

We look forward to doing many more interesting projects with the students in the upcoming year!