Tom Connor

Students in China for Leland & Gray’s Journey East program

Eighteen high school students from Leland & Gray Union High School and other area schools will head to China for a month to perform as part of the program “Journey East: Leland & Gray's Sino-American Academy and Arts Exchange.”

Beginning this past January, the 18 students, ranging in age from 14 to 17, have been enrolled in China-related courses at Leland & Gray in preparation for their month-long performance/study tour of China.

Initiated at Leland and Gray in 2000, the Journey East Program has provided more than 200 high school students with the opportunity to study China in depth and to spend an unforgettable month experiencing the country firsthand. The program has hosted students from schools such as Leland & Gray, Brattleboro Union High School, Bellows Falls High School, Green Mountain High School, The Compass School, Twin Valley High School and Burr & Burton Academy.

A central focus of the Journey East program is an original production developed by the students with musical and artistic direction from longtime Leland & Gray music teacher Ron Kelley and Jennifer Connor, who have extensive experience developing programs that bridge cultural barriers. The show includes various live songs, skits, dancing, and juggling, using the diverse talents of the many students and woven together to create what its organizers call a truly stunning performance.

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