Chinese consulate hosting District 220 students and employees

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is doing its part to help strengthen U.S.-Chinese relations.

District 220 announced about 70 students and employees will visit the Chinese consulate in Chicago on Monday. The visit will come about a month after a high-ranking Chinese government diplomat came away impressed with young students commanding his native language during a tour of District 220 schools and said he wanted them to visit the consulate.

Consul General Hong Lei, a former spokesman and deputy director general for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is scheduled to welcome the District 220 contingent. As part of their day, the students and others will see a Chinese artist demonstrating a traditional painting and receive lessons from Lee's chef on preparing a traditional Chinese meal.

District 220 has 7-year-old Chinese language immersion program - one of the few in the Chicago area. There are roughly 320 students in the Chinese program from kindergarten through seventh grade.

Students receive instruction in Mandarin for half their days, beyond daily Chinese language-arts classes. Hong told students on his November visit how it's important for young people from "two great nations" to know each other.

Chinese diplomat impressed with Mandarin skills of District 220 students

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