(Editor's Note: Below is a copy of an announcement from the Chappaqua school district about the visit of a group of Chinese students to Horace Greeley High School)
Chappaqua – On Monday, February 4, Horace Greeley High School hosted 32 students along with 12 administrators and teachers from Beijing 101 High School. The purpose of this visit was to exchange thoughts and ideas, and to have everyone gain a deeper appreciation for the two cultures while at the same time strengthening their sense of global citizenship.
“As educators, we know reading, mathematics, and science are essential to agood education,” Lyn McKay, Superintendent of Chappaqua Schools, said in her welcoming remarks. “But as 21st century educators living in an interconnected world, we also know how important it is to promote the importance of global understanding by providing opportunities for students to interact with people from all over the world.”
Chappaqua School Board President Victoria Tipp noted that students are asking for more opportunities that combine academic rigor within the classroom, with opportunities that connect classroom learning to the outside world.
Robert Rhodes, Principal of Horace Greeley High School, provided a history of the school and spoke to Greeley’s graduation requirements and the college selection process. Greeley’s Student Council President Tim Bloom introduced the school’s Madrigal Choir and they performed three songs. Two students from Beijing 101 followed with a rendition of, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” from The Lion King.
After administrators, teachers and students exchanged gifts, the Beijing 101 students and teachers were given a tour of the building and attended classes to get a sense of how teaching and learning take place in the United States. The students then collaborated on a digital photography project before eating lunch together.
Greeley junior Vinny Hriskonich said he was looking forward to learning more about the Chinese culture in a comparative sense, and he was eager to hear the different perspectives of his peers from another country. Mr. Hriskonich enrolled in the school’s Chinese 1 class after receiving advice from his brother, who works in the business sector on Wall Street. “My brother told me being able to speak Chinese and having a better understanding of Chinese customs and traditions would give me a tremendous advantage in the workforce.”
Before boarding a bus for their next destination, Yu Lu, an 11th-grader at Beijing 101 said she enjoyed the choir and seeing the classrooms and the layout of the school. “I also see that students have a lot more academic freedom in terms of choosing classes and pursuing personal interests,” Ms. Lu said.