Trip of lifetime becoming yearly event for P.K. Yonge, China students
The partnership between P.K. Yonge DRS and the Nanjing Experimental International School continues to grow and touch the lives of an increasing number of faculty, students and families from both schools. NJEIS is a university-affiliated laboratory school in China much like PKY is the UF College of Education’s K-12 developmental research school.
This year, 23 high school students and four chaperones from NJEIS visited P.K. Yonge for five days in late September. Visiting students were able to experience American family life by staying with PKY host families and participating in after-school activities, bowling, tubing, and trips to St. Augustine and the Florida Museum of Natural History. The Chinese high schoolers also participated in PKY music class with Melanie Harris, a PE class with Kelly Barrett and English language arts class with Cody Miller.
The relationship between the two schools originated from UF College of Education professor Danling Fu’s vision for a China-United State partnership focused on school-based connections.
P.K. Yonge students who visited China in 2013 and 2014 enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones, and Blue Wave students planning to travel to China on a school-sponsored trip in March 2015 connected with friends they will see again in their home country.
“The experience serves as an excellent lesson in cultural and global awareness, as well as in empathy building.” said Julie Henderson, P.K. Yonge’s coordinator of international partnerships. “Previous Blue Wave student travelers to Nanjing recall their own struggles with feeling awkward and displaced in a foreign land and are able to be empathetic to their Chinese guests. For students planning to travel to China for the first time, they gain a glimpse of how they will feel when they make the return visit to NJEIS next spring.”
“After two visits on both sides on the partnership, the schools feel deeply connected and bonded, and look forward to a lasting partnership with lifelong impacts for students, faculty, and families,” Henderson said.