January 25, 2013


Twenty-nine third graders from Walden School’s sister school, Shanghai Fushan Zhengda Foreign Language Primary School, visited Pasadena yesterday. After flying for over twelve hours from Shanghai, China to Los Angeles, the overseas visitors arrived at Walden School to share new stories and celebrate new friends. Walden School Director Matt Allio welcomed the Chinese students and exchanged gifts with Fushan School’s Director Mr. Sun XueWen.


The visiting students performed a Chinese song a cappella and then Walden students performed Walden’s Story Song. A DVD of Walden students singing was also presented to Director Sun. “Building relationships with schools of the Pacific Rim is reflective of our global citizenship values here at Walden. We are excited to make this connection with our new sister school in Shanghai and look forward to hopefully visiting their campus in the future,” said Matt.

After touring Walden’s campus, the Fushan children joined Walden students in classrooms. Sixth Grade Lead Teacher Danica Dermott reflected, “Non-language-based activities helped the students overcome their language differences. Through music, dance, gardening, and art projects, we together created a joyous sense of community that did not need words!”

Fushan organizer Xiaolin Yu said, “This is their first American experience ever and Walden is the first school they visit and meet their first American buddies. Today was really great and everyone from Shanghai was super happy and pleased.”

Walden School parent volunteers served a lunch with a variety of American foods and the children had a great time eating together and swapping stories. Walden Fourth Grader Sally Phelan was surprised that her Chinese buddy, Eric, spoke English. “I asked him some get-to-know-you questions and we drew pictures together. With the whole group, we had a dance party that was really fun!” Sally said she was born in China and has visited twice since moving to Pasadena. She studies Mandarin at Walden with Sophia Hamilton. “It would be cool for Walden to visit our sister school in Shanghai!” she said.


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