Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School
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The Center for Global Studies (CGS), formerly known as the Center for Japanese Studies Abroad, is an interdistrict magnet school within Brien McMahon High School, in Norwalk, Connecticut. CGS focuses on teaching the languages, culture, history, and literature of Japan, China, and the Middle East.
Each year students have the opportunity to take part in overseas study tours; Japanese language learning students can go to Kojo High School in Kanagawa or Bunkyo Gakuin University Girls High School. Seniors in the Japanese program can also tour in Hiroshima if they have previously attended another trip. Arabic students have gone to Egypt, but went to Morocco for the first time in 2012 and Qatar in 2014. Chinese students go to China and in 2016 they kept a blog of their trip. Students also have the opportunity each year to host students from sister schools in other countries. Other study tours like Puerto Rico and Thailand have also become available. One yearly event is the CGS potluck, at which Japanese students and Japanese exchange students independently arrange performances on behalf of one another and the entire school shares food and cultural exchange. CGS potlucks happen when study tour students who speak Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic visit.
In the first year of studying a language, students are required to take a history class corresponding to their chosen language. There are other social studies classes in CGS, but they are not required. Students must take World Literature in the Center for their first two years, offered both as honors and non-honors courses, but are offered AP Language and Composition their Junior year and AP Literature and Composition their Senior year. These classes are still taught by the world literature teachers. Various texts are studied in World Literature, from various time periods, places, and translated from many different languages.
The students in the Center, once knownTemplate:To whom as "centerkids"[no citations needed here] , are evolving towards global citizenship, as informed, dedicated and caring individuals who take part in volunteering, social change projects, and school-wide seminars and presentationsTemplate:Peacock statement. Because CGS is a magnet school, it collects students from many differentTemplate:Quantify towns and provides students with a wide array of diversity to eke out their experience in. The Center has become well knownTemplate:To whom as some of the best places for LGBTQ high school students, due to an accepting and supportive atmosphere.
CGS hosts several clubs which allow them to stand out from Brien McMahon High School. The largest is the Anime club[no citations needed here], which hosts at least 30 students any given year, and has a unique subgroup structure allowing students to explore anime-related interests like drawing or roleplay. The school's J-Cub sends a small group of qualifying students to Japan Bowl each year in Washington D.C.. In 2014, CGS sent a team to the National Japanese Speech competition and won many awards after a speech performed by student Karen Zhueng. The J-Club, as well as the China Bridge club, send students to Brookside Elementary to teach students Japanese and Chinese, respectively. CGS Ambassadors are students who in previous years were hand-selected by staff, but more recentlyTemplate:When have been able to apply, to act as homeroom teachers to small groups of freshmen, as well as tutor after school, and lead school events like open houses and potlucks. CGS and its clubs evolve and change each year.
The program was previously known as the Center For Japanese Studies Abroad (CJSA), and dealt solely with Japanese studies. The school was set up and run by the late Dr. William Jassey who died on May 12, 2011. CGS got its own wing in 2005 as a part of a larger rebuilding of BMHS. Julie Parham replaced Roz McCarthy as director in 2015.
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