As the departure date for a trip that will take 99 Lincoln High School students to China edges closer, more details about the trip are being finalized.
On Thursday night, the Tacoma School Board formally approved the trip, which grew out of last year’s visit to Lincoln by Chinese President Xi Jinping. During his speech at the school in September 2015, Xi extended the invitation for the Lincoln kids to visit his country, compliments of the Chinese government.
Students, who were selected to go on the trip through a lottery held in the spring, are scheduled to depart Oct. 7 for Hong Kong and return from Beijing on Oct. 18. They will also visit Tacoma sister city Fuzhou, and will see the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu.
Accompanying them will be School Board Vice President Catherine Ushka, along with Lincoln Principal Pat Erwin, district director of English language learning Minh-Anh Hodge, 10 teachers and four other Tacoma Public Schools staff members.
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The Chinese government will bear most of their travel expenses, including airfare and lodging. District organizers of the trip did request a total of $3,000 to cover incidental expenses. That money will come from a school district account, called the International Trust, which is dedicated to assisting with travel and study abroad.
Several local Asian business people also plan to travel with the Lincoln group, along with news reporters who are paying their own expenses.