Chinese in DCPS
Globalize DC’s precursor organization, the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL), played an instrumental role in the introduction of Chinese language instruction to DCPS.
In September 2006, with facilitation from the Embassy of China, then-Superintendent Clifford Janey signed a Memorandum of Understanding between DC Public Schools and Hanban, an agency of the Chinese government, to support the placement of highly qualified language teachers from China in DCPS classrooms. CGEL financially supported the signing ceremony at the historic Sumner School. One year later DCPS’s Chinese language programs started at Eaton ES, Deal MS, Wilson SHS, Aiton ES, and Kelly Miller MS, thanks to its first cohort of Hanban teachers. Thomson ES had already launched DCPS’s first Chinese language program with its own teacher.
In summer 2007, in Beijing, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between a delegation of DCPS officials and the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) to establish collaborative programs and educational exchange between the two sister cities, DC and Beijing.
Sally Schwartz, in her former role as Director of International Programs, was directly involved in the drafting of these two important agreements. In both cases, CGEL was identified as a partner to DCPS in facilitating implementation of key provisions of the agreements.
Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
In 2008, CGEL partnered with a new China-based organization, Americans Promoting Study Abroad, to offer fully-funded opportunities for DC public school students to spend 5-6 weeks in Beijing for intensive Chinese language study, cultural expeditions, and career exposure. CGEL managed student selection, orientation, and local DC follow-up. DC students have participated in the APSA China Scholars program in Beijing, along with students from other cities around the US, from summer 2008 through 2015. After a program hiatus in summer 2016, APSA is resuming programming in summer 2017. We look forward to DC students again participating. Click here to learn more about Globalize DC/CGEL’s involvement with APSA.
“Beyond The Wall”
An independent documentary film crew followed the students who participated in the 2009 APSA Summer Program. The result is an hour-long documentary, Beyond The Wall, which follows the story of four DCPS students before, during, and after this life-transforming international experience. CGEL (now Globalize DC) assisted in all phases of the project, and is supporting current educational outreach efforts now that the film is completed. To learn more about our work with Beyond The Wall, click here.
To watch the film trailer, click here.
“BEYOND THE WALL” is now available for purchase or rental. Click here to learn how you can benefit from a special discounted rate through Globalize DC.
In 2009, during his visit to Shanghai, President Obama announced the “100,000 Strong” Initiative, a national effort to significantly increase the number and diversity of Americans studying in China. He set a goal of sending 100,000 American students to China by the year 2014. That goal was met.
From the program’s inception, the leadership of “100,000 Strong” has reached out to DC and to CGEL to ensure that our city’s young people were included in planning for the initiative. In December 2010, Carola McGiffert, Director of the “100,000 Strong” Initiative, joined Sally Schwartz and APSA alumni in presenting testimony on the importance of China and Chinese language study before the DC State Board of Education.
On January 19, 2011, on the occasion of President Hu Jintao’s state visit, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the inspiring call to action before an audience of local high school and college students at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium. One of our local APSA China Scholars, Lyric Carter of Phelps Career High School, was the only high school student on the panel. Mrs. Obama even mentioned CGEL in her prepared remarks that day.
In October 2011, Mayor Vincent Gray announced his support for the 100,000 Strong Initiative, and efforts to expand study abroad opportunities for DC public school students to China.
Globalize DC continues its support for the US China Strong Foundation, the successor organization to the 100,000 Strong Initiative, and looks forward to future collaboration.
Globalize DC China Initiative
We are now making plans to expand our work with China in 2017. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on our China work.