Ten fifth- and sixth-grade students from the Huajiadi Experimental Primary School in Beijing, China, are currently sharing a complete immersion experience with students at the Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School of Global Studies.           Submitted photo

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The Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School of Global Studies is home to a group of 10 fifth- and sixth-grade students from the Huajiadi Experimental Primary School in Beijing, China.

Through Feb. 2, the students and two of their teachers will participate in the educational experiences at Bessie Rhodes School, which was selected through a collaboration between the school’s Principal/Parent Advisory Committee and Adventure Homestays Abroad and Study Plus.

Superintendent Dr. Hardy Murphy said that District 65 is “honored to be one of the only schools in Illinois to host such a program. The way that our magnet schools have embraced their recently revised missions is helping to bring our students an array of very enriching experiences.”

Carlos Mendez, interim principal at Bessie Rhodes said, “We are really excited about this collaboration. Our Chinese visitors will have a complete immersion experience and our students will have an unprecedented opportunity to learn first-hand more about the country and culture of China. Our teachers, students and families can’t wait for our visitors to arrive. This experience truly exemplifies the new vision for global studies that Bessie Rhodes School adopted last year.”

He added special recognition to Wendy Woodward King, a parent member of the Rhodes Advisory Committee, and active member and officer of the school’s PTA. Ms. Woodward King has been working with Hannah Walsh from Adventure Homestays to coordinate the two-week visit.

The visiting Chinese students have been studying English since they started their formal academic learning. They attended an extensive pre-departure training to prepare them for the trip and manage expectations related to the American family. Rhodes students worked with their teachers to prepare for the visit and families have been encouraged to support their child’s interest in learning about China.

Visiting teachers have been participating in the classroom with Rhodes School teachers.

Plans are to develop a long-term relationship with the students and the school, and to make global experiences part of the fabric of the educational experience at Rhodes Magnet School of Global Studies.