Teacher helps bring harmony to the heartland

Zhang Dong passes on big city job offers to educate children in rural areas

By LIU MINGTAI in Changchun and ZHOU HUIYING | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-27 08:50
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Zhang Dong holds up sugarcoated haws on sticks that have been prepared for her students in Jilin city, Jilin province. [Photo for CHINA DAILY]

To meet the cultural needs of the villagers, Zhang organized the Yangshulin Farmer Art Troupe, a rural performance group consisting of local residents. The troupe currently has over 100 members.

Its members have not only performed voluntarily in the villages, but have also engaged in volunteer service activities, including helping seniors collect corn and firewood and clean their houses.

At the end of 2021, Zhang was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and received a thyroidectomy. The surgical procedure significantly diminished her singing ability.

At the beginning of the spring semester in March 2022, Zhang returned to her work even though she had not fully recovered.

"Due to the illness, I can't sing with too much force, but I still hope I can bring happiness to the children and the elderly by teaching them how to sing," she said.

"I am a teacher, and I want to use music to illuminate the hearts of rural children and tell the beautiful stories of the countryside through education."

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