Ida Pruitt Scholarship

The Shandan Bailie School was founded by New Zealander and long-time China resident Rewi Alley in the early 1940s. It was named for Joseph Bailie, an American missionary, who first established technical training in China in the 19th century. The Bailie School was created as a cooperative training center, and among its earliest students were victims of the Japanese occupation of China in World War II. (The movie “Escape from Huang Shi” depicts the “long march” of orphans led by George Hogg from Shaanxi province to Shandan, Gansu, in 1944.) The school’s philosophy today echoes that of its founder: “Hand and brain together, create and analyze.”

Ida Pruitt, an American born in Yantai China in 1888, lived in the country for fifty years. She devoted herself to helping the common people of China and to promoting Sino-American understanding. During her career Pruitt was an educator, Director of Social Services at the Peking Union Medical College hospital, and the author of several books about Chinese women. She and Alley raised much of the initial funding for the Bailie School during World War II, and she continued to spearhead efforts to support the institution. (For more about the life and work of Ida Pruitt, see Marjorie King’s excellent biography)

The Bailie School is located in Gansu, one of China’s most impoverished provinces. Today the Chinese government pays one-half of the US$300 yearly tuition for students. The families are responsible for the other half, an amount which exceeds the yearly income of about 20% of the families.

The Ida Pruitt Memorial Scholarship provides money for the education of high school girls attending the Bailie School. Private donations make it possible for families to educate their daughters in spite of very difficult financial circumstances. Lives are changed, not just those of the students but of their families and communities as well. Supporting the Ida Pruitt Memorial Scholarship is a major project of USCPFA-Atlanta. Collecting money for it has become an important part of the annual Chinese New Years dinner, but contributions are welcome at any time.

To Donate
Checks should be made out to USCPFA-Atlanta and directed to:
The Ida Pruitt Memorial Scholarship Fund
C/O Penny Blackford
2174 Essex Avenue, S.W.,
Atlanta, GA 30311