By Jen Bakken
DELANO, MN A sister school partnership between Delano Public Schools and Purple Cloud School and Shiyuan Primary School in China developed in 2005.
Since then, the schools have exchanged visitors every year. Delano Public Schools have sent students and teachers for 10-day visits each year.
For the past two years, a Delano teacher has also been selected for a one-month stay in China.
“The faculty, staff, and students at Purple Cloud High School were tremendously impressed with the teachers and students who traveled to China this year,” said DHS teacher Leo Pospichal. “The China Exchange program is expanding.”
Next year, DHS will be sending four more students to China than in previous years, Pospichal said.
Lanette Faul, a DHS math teacher, will spend a month-long internship at Purple Cloud High School in China.
Jamie Longstreet, physical education teacher and Julie Longstreet, a DMS math teacher, will later accompany the students for their trip to China.
A China wall will be in place in the Tiger Activity Center lobby next school year, and the school is awaiting another visit by students and staff at Purple Cloud High School this fall.
The school district hosted a guest teacher from China this year.
Jia Ning brought Chinese language and cultural experiences to students in the elementary, middle, and high school before returning to China this month.
During her time in Delano, elementary students were given a two-month time period to learn Chinese.
Although this is a short time frame, students learned simple daily expressions, how to introduce themselves, as well as how to say directions and colors.
The kindergarten through fourth grade students were exposed to geography, the flag, how to use chopsticks, and even how to write Chinese characters.
Middle school students learned songs, and how to play Chinese games. Sixth grade students were given 45 minutes of Chinese every day for a month.
Jia Ning was impressed by the students’ curiosity and the interesting questions they asked her.
“I am glad to see that most of them like to have Chinese class,” said Jia Ning. “Not only for learning, but also for playing new games and doing fun stuff.”
She feels American students are very creative, like to show affection, and are very nice and polite.
“I am very happy to have them learning a bit of Chinese language and culture,” she said, “which is indeed beneficial for them understanding and knowing another side of the globe.”
For more information on the China program, visit the school’s web site at www.delano.k12.mn.us.