Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

LHS prepares for Chinese guests

September 21, 2006

Lansing High School staff and students are putting the final touches on an upcoming visit from two students and three administrators from Kaifeng No. 5 Middle School in China.

The tour is part of a three-year student-exchange program between the schools that began in March when eight students and three teachers from LHS visited the school in Kaifeng and toured sights in Shanghai, Beijing and Xian.

Tentative plans have the group arriving on Sept. 30 for a seven-day visit. Plans will be finalized after today, Sept. 21, when the tourists hope to secure their Visas.

Two male students and three educators will tour sights in northeast Kansas and Missouri and stay with five host families in Lansing.

Activities will follow the theme "Gateways," which LHS teacher Linda Leffler said symbolized the purpose of the program - opening doors between cultures.

Leffler, who accompanied students on the first exchange trip to China in March, said the committee coordinating the trip was making an effort to include the entire community.

"We plan to make the activities available so all our students can participate," she said.

The group will have a busy week.

Donna Hughes, assistant superintendent, will play host to a dinner for the group at her home. The visitors will also meet with the Lansing School Board and district administrators during a breakfast at Ashlee's.

In addition to visiting classes at LHS, they will attend a cultural seminar at Lansing Middle School and a presentation at Lansing Elementary School.

Extra-curricular events at LHS include a soccer game and the fall play, "The Odd Couple."

Tours outside Lansing will take the group to Lawrence, where they will tour the University of Kansas, eat at the Kansas Union and visit the Center for East Asian Studies. They will also travel to St. Louis and Hannibal, Mo., with 16 Lansing students and staff members and enjoy sights including the Gateway Arch, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, Cahokia Mounds, St. Louis Zoo and Science Center.

Leffler said the Lansing Booster Club and LHS student clubs were planning special welcomes for the group as well.

Hosts for the students are LHS students Michael Nielsen and Justin Nickum. Lansing insurance agent Dick Cameron and LHS teachers Randy Brown and Leffler will serve as hosts for the administrators.

Leffler said plans were already forming for a contingent of eight students and three teachers to return to Kaifeng in March.

Leffler and fellow LHS teachers Bianca Elliott and Cathy Smith will make the two-week trip, which will include visits to Kaifeng No. 5 Middle School, Shanghai, Beijing and Xian.

Four students who have already been selected for the trip are sophomore Dana Piper, junior Jasmine Holland, and seniors Michael Brooks and Phillip Johnson.

Four students will fill the remaining spots this fall.

Leffler said the return trip would cost about $2,200 per student.

The group is searching for funding opportunities to help pay for the trip, which is partially funded by the Freeman Foundation.

Leffler said each student would have to raise more than half of the trip's cost, plus spending money.

"We're looking for student scholarships to help them pay for the experience because we don't want this to be an experience students lose out on because they can't fund it," she said.

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