Not your ordinary field trip | January 24, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 24, 2014

Not your ordinary field trip

Seventy Beijing elementary students visit Palo Alto's Ohlone Elementary School

by Chris Kenrick

With paisley backpacks, Adidas sweats and baseball caps, many of the 9- and 10-year-old children visiting from China were indistinguishable from their American hosts at Ohlone Elementary School Wednesday morning — though a few of the visitors wore uniforms of orange jackets and blue caps.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at On the cover: Ohlone Elementary School student Charlotte Palmer, right, greets visiting students from Beijing Yucai elementary school in China, as they arrive on Jan. 22. Photo by Veronica Weber.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:22 pm

There is no reason that class-to-class and student-to-student communications can not made via Skype. At the moment, the Chinese Communist government does not allow its citizens to use Youtube, there are Chinese equivalents where both Chinese and American students could upload videos that would allow each group to exchange ideas, and interact in a somewhat less "interactive" way as they would via Skype, but the recordings would be more permanent.

Given the cost, and who knows what other issues that might pop up visiting China -- a better way to facilitate two-way, face-to-face, student-to-student communications would be via Skype, or some other video-sharing tools.

Will be interesting to see if the PAUSD can make that happen.

Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

"A local Chinese educator who helped to organize the exchange said many of the visiting students are the children of Chinese government officials and frequently travel abroad."

Is part of the PRC's Ministry of Education department of the government(Hanban)?

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

@Just Wondering - you are a wise person. I agree with you.
The naivete of some other persons is staggering. I worry for the future of our country. I worry about human rights abuses in certain other countries (anyone checked the news lately?)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

Am I the only one who feels very suspicious about this?

These kids are not run of the mill regular Chinese school kids. Their parents are Government officials. I smell something fishy.

Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

"I smell something fishy."

Why? Is it surprising that the children participating in such an expensive and involved trip would be wealthy and well connected?

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Posted by New in town
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

Did anyone else get a chuckle out of reading a visiting student from this "environmental group'" sang a song titled "Price Tag," with a refrain of "money, money, money." ?

Like this comment
Posted by lol
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I thought it was funny that they sang "This Land is Your Land".

Like this comment
Posted by Equivalent
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Jan 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of St. Claire Gardens

on May 31, 2017 at 11:03 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.