WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A group of 10 students from Suzhou High School in China will visit its sister school, White Plains High School, beginning Friday, the school district has announced.
The 10 students will stay with the families of White Plains students who are part of the Mandarin language program at school. The visiting students have also been assigned school hosts, who they will shadow beginning Monday.
“They’re all staying with home host families, which is one of the coolest things of the whole exchange,” said Susan Altman, a social studies teacher coordinating the trip. “The home hosts are generally students who went to Suzhou last April, so we are reciprocating their fabulous hospitality by hosting their students this time.”
Eleven White Plains students went to Suzhou during their spring vacation and all are either a home or a school host. Altman said she paired the 10 visiting students with different home and school hosts to get as many of White Plains students involved as possible.
On Saturday, home hosts will take their visitor to the White Plains football game against John Jay High School at 1:30 p.m., followed by the third-annual White Plains Columbus Day Festival.
"We thought that would be a really good introduction to American culture," Altman said. "Sunday, thanks to the White Plains Foundation for Public Education - who gave us a grant - we’re going to take a double-decker tour of New York City."
This is the third visit of Suzhou High School students to White Plains. A welcome ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m., Monday at White Plains High School.
The school district also announced its participation in the China Institute’s Confucius Institute, which allowed it to receive a $10,000 grant from the Hanban Agency and the China Institute.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to be a part of this program,” Altman said. “It’s not readily available to other schools, and it is a grant that will help us to get materials to support the Mandarin program. It will provide for field trips to support the program.”