SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Later this spring, some San Jose elementary school students will be getting the chance to visit their sister school in China.

For two years now, students at Washington Elementary have been communicating with their peers at Hao Chong Elementary via email and Skype. But soon, those interactions will be a little more personal.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“I’m going to go to China and Hong Kong,” said fourth grader Erica Morales.

She is one of three students who will be visiting their sister school in April, along with Washington Principal Maria Evans.

“Can you imagine being 3,000 miles from home for three children who probably have never stepped out of their neighborhood?” Evans asked.

The students, many of whom already speak Spanish, have been slowly learning Mandarin.

“Spanish is easy because when you read it, you just pronounce it how it is,” said Morales. “But Chinese use characters and not words.”

It may be difficult, but Dennis Fong, sponsor of the sister schools, said being multilingual will be a huge asset for the students in the future.

“If they can learn these languages, they could be business or community leaders anywhere in the world,” he said.

So far, $10,000 has been raised for the $20,000 trip.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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