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Three Children from Dripping Water Elementary School in Hubei Sell Tea to Raise Funds for Tuition at the Book Fair Said They Want to Read the "Classics"

Source: Beijing Youth News May 1, 2002
Translated by Roland Zhou

Yesterday morning, the Spring Book Fair began in the Temple of Earth. There were thousands of book vendors. A reporter heard three children's voices, "Please buy some Dripping Water tea. Our whole class went up the mountain and picked the tea ourselves early this spring." The man standing beside the children told the reporter that the children came from Hubei Dripping Water Elementary School. They want to sell the tea to raise money for tuition. He himself is the principal of this 3-teacher and 57-student school.

The reporter talked to the children and learned that all the kids were born to the families in poor tea-growing mountain areas in Hubei. Currently some families cannot afford RMB100 per year tuition. In 1998 the school established a tea farm doing tea growing, tea leave collecting and processing in hoping to exchange for the tuition payment. Since then the children have learned from the teachers to work in the tea farm after school.

The fourth grader named Chen Hui Jie said that Beijing is so big! The sixth grader Cheng Long said that he has never seen so many books before. The children said they want to read "The Three Kingdom", "The Dream of Red Mansion", "Journey to the West" and the "Shuihu" because they only read a few chapters from textbooks, never the original novels.

Yang Xiaojuan said that she likes music class, but there is not a single instrument in the entire school. Chen Hui Jie said that each year his school has a sport gathering, but they don't have a standard soccer ball and basketball. He hopes for one so the boys can have a real match.

According to the principal, among the 57 students half of the students are needy. However, he is proud that four of his students had made their way to attend colleges.

The Dripping Water tea stand is located at the south gate of the Temple of Earth. Today, three Hubei pupils continue to sell tea. They said that their main goal is to sell every bag of tea. This way, their needy peers can finally afford the school tuition.
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