Charles….Welcome to Nechako Lakes, Canada!

Last week, I had an opportunity to have dinner with Junpeng (Charles), a shy young man from China who has chosen to spend a year living and learning in Vanderhoof.  Charles and his father were welcomed to Vanderhoof by a large group of people including his principal, Lynn Maksymchak, and two NVSS teachers, Leslie and Jocelyn. Charles will be attending NVSS while living with his host mother, Debbie. I was also introduced to Jason, a bright, energetic NVSS student who will act as a mentor, translator and friend to Charles.  Just watching Jason in action was impressive!

Although Charles speaks some English and likely understands a lot more, his primary reason for coming to our part of the world is to improve his conversational English and judging from the great group of people who welcomed him to Nechako Lakes, he will begin to see dramatic improvements  over the next 10 months.  As we talked with Charles’father, it was apparent that the family was looking for a full  immersion experience and that is certainly something that SD 91 has to offer to any International Student choosing to study here. It takes a great deal of courage to travel thousands of miles from home and immerse yourself in a completely foreign culture…good for you Charles!  You and your family should also know that we believe you have chosen one of the best places in BC to live and learn…have a great year!

Please continue to watch this blog to hear more about Charles’ Great Canadian Adventure.

I also had an opportunity on Friday to interview Payden and William, two of six SD 91 students chosen to attend an International Beijing Summer Camp this past July.  These bright & articulate students were absolutely giddy as they shared stories about their 10 days in Beijing. When asked if either of them would consider returning to China to either visit or study, both responses were overwhelmingly YES!  It was clear from my brief time with these two that continuing to provide opportunities for our students to travel and network internationally should be a continuing focus of our district.  The fact that both these students went out of their way to use basic Mandarin to welcome Charles to their school is indicative of the global learning and networking that we should be facilitating for all our kids.

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