Chinese Students Visit ‘Sister School District’ in Wisconsin as part of AASA’s Discover China Program


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – May 16, 2018 – The School District of Elmwood in Elmwood, Wis., recently hosted 20 fourth- and fifth-grade Chinese students from the Jinshan No. 2 Experimental Primary School in Shanghai as a result of AASA’s Discover China Program.

As part of the program, AASA members and other educators travel to China every summer to visit K-12 schools, local education agencies and state education departments to observe classes, demonstrate teaching skills and engage in a variety of activities. During last year’s Discover China trip, Paul Blanford, superintendent of Elmwood Schools, and Zhang Hong, principal of Jinshan, agreed to have their schools become “sister schools.”

The April 15-21 program included students from both countries working and learning together in the classrooms and sharing educational experiences. They visited the Alfalawn Farm in Menomonie, Wis., University of Wisconsin River Falls Laboratory Dairy Farm in River Falls, Wis. and the infamous Mall of America aquarium in Bloomington, Minn. Chinese students stayed with host families in the Elmwood community. Elmwood Schools plans to send their two teachers and fourth- and fifth-grade students to Shanghai to learn about their sister school.  

Ravi Hutheesing, a global keynote speaker, provided inspiration to students through music, while encouraging them to follow their interests and dreams. Hutheesing, a cultural diplomat, spoke at AASA’s National Conference on Education earlier this year in Nashville, Tenn.  

“We are very excited about the AASA Discover China Program and the sister school connections coming out of the program,” said Chuck Woodruff, AASA chief operating officer. “We hope to continue providing opportunities to educators and students from both countries to learn from one another, share ideas and make relationships with their overseas counterparts. Our program prepares students with the global skills they need for success in the 21st century.”    

The program also provides a platform for the participants of both countries to share their experience and views on topics of common interest, such as school administration and teaching methodology.

For more information, contact Tara Gao, AASA business/cultural exchange specialist, at 


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit