On Thursday, June 14th, DC Mayor Vincent Gray stopped by Washington Yu Ying PCS in order to tour the school and learn some Mandarin in preparation for an upcoming economic development trip to China.
Mayor Gray joined our principal, Maquita Alexander, on a tour of the school. During his time at Yu Ying, the mayor saw Pre-K students speak using only Mandarin in their full immersion classroom, watched Kindergarten students prepare for an assembly, and then stopped by 4th grade, where Shanshan Laoshi's class taught him some useful words. When he asked the students what they thought was important he knew how to say for his trip, the answers ranged from "你好" (hello) to "你吃了吗?" (Have you eaten?) and, of course, the very important "谢谢" (thank you), as the students thanked him for coming. After the lesson, the school presented Mayor Gray a small book that contains some useful phrases to help him prepare for the trip.
The Mayor's delegation will be leaving for China in late June, and will focus on international business, renewing DC's sister-city relationship with Beijing, and attending an international sustainability conference. As he left, Yu Ying wished the mayor and his delegation a successful trip and reminded him that fluent Mandarin speakers could assist the city in securing business, education, and political communication goals that he has laid out for the city.
Additionally, the mayor's visit was documented by Voice of America , who was filming a piece about not being afraid to learn new things, even if they are difficult. We are very excited to see how it turns out, so stay tuned for more information on that!
4th Grade Students show off some Chinese writing skills to the Mayor!
Mayor Gray answers some questions posed by the 4th graders.
Mayor Gray graciously signs some autographs on behalf of the students.