BTWRoyalle Jones was one of four Washington, DC high school students whose 2009 study tour of China was documented in the film, “Beyond the Wall.” The documentary was completed in 2013.

Jones has since graduated from Ballou Senior High School, has become a mother, and is pursuing studies in early childhood education.

Jones and her mentor, Sally Schwartz, of the Center for Global Education & Leadership (CGEL), join the Education Town Hall on December 4 to discuss their perspectives on international education and exchange. Listen live, from anywhere, via TuneIn at 11:30 a.m. Eastern

Here’s more on the trip, the film and its recent screening at the U.S. Department of Education, followed by a panel discussion.

Resource Deficit

Among topics raised during the DOE panel discussion was the lack of resources supporting foreign language and global studies for these young people upon return to the States. None of the students’ schools offer Chinese language instruction, for example, and world language study varies hugely across DC Public Schools. While the city is filled with embassies, and many diplomats make an effort to share their language and culture with DC schools, programs are not consistent or available at many neighborhood schools. Moreover, many students who have studied abroad find it difficult to integrate their new perspectives with life in the city’s more isolated areas.

 U.S. Dept. of Ed panel on "Beyond the Wall" with (L-R) student Jeffrey Wood; mentor, Sally Schwartz; mother, Pamela Bullock; teacher, Stacey Yule; and Dpty Asst Secy, Mohamed Abdel-Kader

U.S. Dept. of Ed panel on “Beyond the Wall” with (L-R) student Jeffrey Wood; mentor, Sally Schwartz; mother, Pamela Bullock; teacher, Stacey Yule; and Dpty Asst Secy, Mohamed Abdel-Kader

Mobilizing Resources

Schwartz founded and directs DC’s CGEL, which works to mobilize the unique resources of the nation’s capital to support high quality, systemic, and equitably available global education for all DC public school students. Among its efforts helping DC public high school students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad. For this particular program, Schwartz works with DC teachers to find suitable candidates and mentors the selected students before and after their trips. Four years after their journey began, she is still in touch with Jeffrey, Peter, Juanique and Royelle who appear in the Beyond the Wall film.

 

If you’re in the DC area, consider attending this program on Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools later on December 4, 2014. It is also being live-streamed.

 

The Education Town Hall broadcasts from Historic Anacostia in Washington, DC, Thursdays at 11 Eastern on We Act Radio.
Listen live via TuneIn.
Shows are archived for convenient listening shortly after broadcast.