Project Show
Innovative Education

The Stone Project


The Stone Project is an innovative educational poverty-alleviation project targeting poverty-stricken areas lacking educational resources. Thanks to the innovative educational resources in big cities, the Foundation develops and popularizes courses tailored to the need and characteristics of poverty-stricken areas. The project carries out a series of innovative educational activities for free, including mobile classrooms in caravans for rural areas, online and offline courses, open days at higher education institutions for rural teachers and students, and competitions and mutual learning between rural and urban students, etc.


Project Progress

So far, the Stone Project has been launched in impoverished areas in Hunan, Shandong, Anhui, and other provinces, involving six grass-roots rural schools and benefiting more than 2,000 rural students.

Considering local cultural features in rural areas, the Stone Project develops courses tailored to local conditions to enhance rural students’ confidence in their cultures. Innovative courses combined with cultures of ethnic minority groups, ancestral cultures, and the culture of Chinese revolutions have been developed. Meanwhile, “See the World,” a class activity in the Stone Project, is strongly supported by kind-hearted people at home and abroad through many video clips about stones from all over the globe to give rural children an opportunity to see the world. In addition, the project develops multiple general courses on reading, DIY, writing, and painting, providing rural children with diverse innovative courses and impoverished rural areas with access to innovative education. In 2020, the project explored course development and took responsibility for rural mountainous areas. For instance, the project developed an innovative course themed “Xuanzang’s Journey to the West,” integrating history, culture, literature, and technology into a thematic course. The project also launched a program for “mobile classrooms in caravans,” where class activities were brought to local students and received wide welcome.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stone Project has tapped into its expert pool to develop online free courses. Olympic champions, world champions, designers, technology experts, musicians, artists, and experts from museums have taken part in giving free online courses, bringing new impetus to innovative education in poverty-affected mountainous areas during the epidemic and becoming popular among students.

Cross-regional competitions and other activities launched by the Stone Project allowed students in rural areas to travel out of the mountains. With what they learned from tailored innovative courses, these children accomplished great results in innovation competitions where they competed with urban students. In 2019, students belonging to the Yao nationality from poverty-stricken areas in Hunan Province cooperated with students from Tsinghua University High School in creating a design celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, using yellow peaches – an agricultural product characteristic of their hometown - and won the first prize. In 2020, stay-at-home children from poverty-stricken areas in Hunan Province, together with students from Qingdao, Shandong Province, engaged in the competition of Mars Base – Innovative Talent Cultivation Forum in 2020, and won the first prize as well.

Innovative education in impoverished areas depends on the training of teachers in rural areas. In order to provide rural teachers with access to training and academic seminars in developed areas with innovative education, the Stone Project organizes innovation seminars and training courses for these teachers every year and offers them opportunities for exchanges and study in cities. In 2019, the first group of rural teachers traveled to Beijing for the Beijing International Innovative Education Forum. In 2020, a teaching seminar was held in Youxian County, Hunan Province, where teachers from the Foundation and local areas had an in-depth discussion and exchange about the innovative courses. Exchanges and mutual learning in teaching have greatly enhanced innovative education in poverty-stricken areas.

While focusing on innovative education, the Stone Project also provides assistance and donation of teaching facilities which improves the learning and teaching environment for students and teachers in poverty-stricken areas. In 2019, the Foundation donated desks, computers, and beds to the Pingle School for the Yao Nationality in Hunan Province, transforming the once most poorly equipped school into the best one in the area, providing favorable conditions for recruiting teachers and rolling out innovative education. A year later, the Foundation made another donation of books, office facilities, and insulated catering equipment to some of the schools in the project, further improving their conditions.

As the saying goes, a single spark can start a prairie fire. The Stone Project also launched the Chenxing Talent Program to reward outstanding students from poor families. Recommended by schools and reviewed by the Foundation, eligible students will receive further support and innovative cultivation. So far, multiple students have been rewarded by the program and have become role models for their fellow students. Some of the selected students had the opportunity to study in renowned schools in Beijing and visited laboratories, which broadened their horizons and helped them set greater goals.

Project Outcomes

The Stone Project has continued from strength to strength and will continue promoting innovative education in poverty-affected rural areas lacking educational resources.