The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CIWA) was an enthusiastic supporter of the parents’ fundraising efforts for the inaugural Beacon Hill International School (BHIS) 5th Grade class trip to China. BHIS strove to include all students and help families with low incomes who could not afford this incredible educational opportunity.
Because of CIWA and other internationally-minded people, 13 families from BHIS made the journey to China in April, and the school was able to include 4 low income students.
Flo Beaumon, parent volunteer, had this to say about the trip:
It was an amazing trip! The welcome from our sister school in Chongqing was unforgettable. Host families for home stays were boundless with their generosity. The experience of walking on the Great Wall and through Tiananmen Square gave our children a feeling for China’s deep history. Our kids went to class with their pen pals. They stayed with host families for three days on their own without their parents, and met the challenge of communicating in Mandarin. “It was scary at first but they were really nice and we had a great time together,” is a typical recollection of the students’ experience. Walking through the streets of the cities, our kids were sometimes the interpreters for their parents, and that was exciting for them – giving them a taste of their futures, when their skills will be valuable and they will lead.