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A warmer Snowflake Boy gets dormitory

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Jiang Chenglong in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-30 07:14

Wang Fuman, better known on the internet as Snowflake Boy, moved into his primary school's new dormitory recently with 72 other students, with the help of a civil service group and the local government.

"The new dormitory was transformed from an old teachers' dormitory and equipped with heaters, the cost of which was all shouldered by the Ludian county government and a public welfare program," said Fu Heng, principal of Zhuanshanbao Primary School in rural Ludian, Yunnan province.

Chen Furong, director of the Ludian education bureau, said more than 800,000 yuan ($125,000) was raised from various sources to transform the school's teaching building, canteen and the dormitory for the students, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wang, 8, attracted national attention when his photograph was posted on the internet by the principal on Jan 8. It showed him with his hair covered in ice after he walked more than 4 kilometers in freezing temperatures to reach his school in a cold highland area at an altitude of more than 2,900 meters - hence the name Snowflake Boy.

Wang lives with his father, 10-year-old sister and sick grandmother in Zhaotong's impoverished mountainous area. His mother left two years ago.

Fu, the principal, told China Daily that the dormitory's transformation began after the Lunar New Year holiday in February and completed at the beginning of March.

"There were 141 students in our primary school. A total of 73 students have moved into the new two-story dormitory - 40 boys and 33 girls," he said.

All 73 students lived more than 2 kilometers from school, Fu said, adding that the school had considered the distance between school and home when offering boarding opportunities.

"Those students' living expenses at school were covered by the school," he said, adding that if the school had more money, it would build more dormitories for the rest of the students to live in.

"Living in a campus dormitory will save lots of time spent on the way to and from school - nearly three to four hours a day. The time is better used for study," Fu said.

In addition to the dorm, all of the school's lights, doors and windows have been repaired, Chen, the education official, told Xinhua.

A public welfare program called Volant Boxes, which is attached to China Youth Development Foundation, offered financial support of more than 160,000 yuan to renovate dorm rooms, Zhou Hanrui, the program head, told Xinhua.

Wang Gangkui, the boy's father, was delighted to see his son and daughter move into the new dorm. "This way, they don't need to walk for such a long distance to get to school," he said.

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