On the 5th of January, a group of 17 girls from Castilleja School visited one of the Stepping Stones partner migrant schools. Castilleja School is an independent school for girls, grades six to twelve, located in Palo Alto, California. The girls were accompanied by their 3 teachers and 3 tour guides, who are leading them on a two week trip around China to study the urban and rural divide. To learn more about the consequences of the urban/rural divide, Stepping Stones arranged an afternoon visit to a migrant school in Minhang District.
The event started with a round table discussion between the girls and grade 5 migrant students. This 40 minute conversation was an excellent opportunity for both sides to learn more about each other in a question and answer session. The Castilleja School girls wanted to know everything about their new friends, especially what their hometowns look like and their opinion about life in Shanghai.
To facilitate an engaging dialogue, the classroom was later split into eight small groups, with two Castilleja girls partnered with six migrant students. The smaller group size allowed more speaking time for each student. They talked about everything: their hobbies, family and school life. The girls also had the opportunity to practice their Chinese, as many of them are studying it at Castilleja School. To finish off the class time together, the Castilleja girls played some games with the grade 5 students, teaching them: Charades, Pictionary and categories games.
The activities finished with a presentation from Stepping Stones staff about the migrant situation in China, in relation to the urban/rural divide, and the work Stepping Stones is doing to promote the general welfare and education of these migrant children through its English teaching programs. The Castilleja girls were eager to learn more about China and kept the presentation flowing by asking many questions about migrants.
Overall, it was a wonderful and educational experience for both the Castilleja girls and the migrant school students. The students, from both schools, enjoyed the day spent together, learning about each other’s cultures and life. Stepping stones is looking forward to more days like this!