RED SCARF GIRL: Renowned author Ji-Li Jiang, center, stands with Edison Preparatory seventh graders during Jiang’s December visits to three Tulsa Public Schools middle school sites. Students read Jiang’s book Red Scarf Girl as part of TPS’ Amplify English Language Arts curriculum.
ROSSY GILLE for GTR Newspapers
In December, seventh grade students at three Tulsa Public Schools middle schools – Edison, Hale and McLain – received a surprise visit from Ji-Li Jiang, author of Red Scarf Girl, a memoir about Jiang’s childhood during the Cultural Revolution in China. During her visits, Jiang spoke to students about the historical background of China’s transformation and her personal experiences, and hosted a “Question and Answer” session.
Students were first exposed to Jiang’s writings as part of TPS’ Amplify English Language Arts curriculum being used at four of the district’s middle schools. The curriculum endeavors to bring complex texts to life by using interactive digital elements to encourage students to read more deeply, write more vividly and think more critically. Hale Junior High teacher Cierra David reached out to the author after seeing how deeply engaged her students were when reading Red Scarf Girl.
Jiang was born in Shanghai, China, in 1954. Since the publication of Red Scarf Girl in 1997, Jiang has been invited to speak at hundreds of schools and conferences. In 2001, she published her adaptation of the Chinese classic folklore Magical Monkey King – Mischief in Heaven, which was serialized in 140 newspapers in the United States and was published as a book the following year. In 2007, the story was selected for International Literacy Day by the World Association of Newspapers in Paris and was serialized in 17 countries worldwide.