Ni Hao, Mr. President

Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School Students Visit the White House

(Washington, DC, January 19, 2011) Twenty one first, second, and third grade students from Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School visited the White House today, where they heard addresses from President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao. The students, who learn within a Mandarin Chinese language immersion curriculum, greeted the two Presidents on the South Lawn with “Ni Hao,” and some were rewarded with the opportunity to shake hands with Obama and Hu.

Yu Ying, the first public school in the Nation’s Capital to offer a Chinese language immersion program, delivered in combination with the International Baccalaureate Organization’s Primary Years curricula, seeks to educate elementary students “to become bilingual and biliterate in an increasingly important world language” with “a world class education that opens doors to the future.”

Yu Ying currently is located at CSDC’s Frum Center, a state-of-the-art facility whose 42,000 square feet had been vacant and deteriorating for years before CSDC’s $11.45 million purchase and renovation. Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School currently leases the building, with option-to-purchase once its growth can sustain use and financing of the site. Meanwhile, CSDC is working with sub-tenant Yu Ying to develop a permanent facility of their own, in an adaptive re-use project – a ‘gut-rehab’ – of an existing building nearby, from which they will start the Fall 2011 school year.

Yu Ying’s access to incubator space at the Frum Center for their start-up years allowed the school to build enrollment and establish a record of good business practices and academic results, giving them a solid foundation from which to pursue the acquisition and development of their own facility.