DOWNEY – This Saturday, two Downey residents will embark on a 10-day educational/cultural exchange program to China. Jose Hernandez, principal at Anton Elementary School in Los Angeles, will lead a delegation that includes 10 teachers on a visit to elementary schools in Beijing and Xian.
As an educator, Hernandez has been participating in this sister-school program ever since hosting a visiting Chinese delegation seven years ago. The Chinese invited him to visit in return, and Hernandez has made several trips since then.
“Given the nature of our global economy,” Hernandez explains, “it is very important that schools exchange ideas and learn from one another.”
Hernandez says that the Chinese are very interested in the collaborative aspects of education in the United States.
Local sculptor Jorge Del Toro will join the delegation as a contributing artist. Inspired by nature, Del Toro is known for creating realistic animal and plant figures that invite touching.
Del Toro often finishes his pieces using the hand-rubbing, pre-Hispanic techniques of indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere.
Del Toro has given demonstrations of how to work with clay as part of the program by the Downey Art League.
The role of art in education is a topic that will be explored on the tour, and Del Toro anticipates sharing some of his knowledge with the Chinese.