New faces roamed the halls of Cannon School last week as students and faculty from Tianli International School in Luzhou, China visited for a week-long cultural exchange.
Since 2004, Cannon families and staff members have hosted more than 100 students and faculty from Tianli, including students now studying at American and Canadian universities in part because of their visit to Cannon.
The Tianli and Cannon School traditional sister school relationship has opened a window of opportunity for both Cannon and Tianli, and it makes the exchange of culture, language and communication a wonderful hands-on experience between two very distinguished countries and groups of people.
“It is important to celebrate personal and cultural differences and reach out to meet others and expand your mind,” says Lirong Wang, Cannon School’s Upper School Chinese teacher. “We learn by doing and increasing our understanding of each other and the world.”
“It is imperative to expose students to global education through travel and hosting students from another part of the world,” adds Dr. Sylvia Simard-Newman, Cannon School’s Director of International Programs.
Each year, Tianli students and teachers return to China with books as part of a unique library enrichment program. Cannon School families have donated several hundred English-language books that form the foundation for Tianli School’s English-language library. Families have donated a diverse collection of works, from young adult literature to Shakespeare, as well as textbooks on algebra, American literature and geometry.
The exchange program also opens the door for Cannon students to visit their new friends in China. Cannon visited Tianli in the summer of 2007 and 2013, receiving a warm welcome from Tianli and the local community. Cannon students have plans to visit Tianli again in June 2015.