Spring break! Michelle Obama, daughters, mom, heading to China

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Michelle Obama,China

First lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and mom will travel to China in March during Sasha and Malia's annual spring break this month.

The White House announced the trip Monday. The trip will stretch from March 19-26. Sidwell Friends School, which the Obama daughters attend, has its spring break that week.

The White House plans to encourage school children to follow the family trip online.

Sidwell has ties to China, including a field work program in the country for students.

From the White House:

First Lady Michelle Obama to Travel to China March 19-26, 2014

Mrs. Obama to Visit the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School on March 4

The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. During her trip, the First Lady will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping. She will also visit a university and a high school in Beijing, and a high school in Chengdu. Additional details about the First Lady’s trip will be announced in the coming weeks. Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.

During the trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

She will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture – emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.

The First Lady is encouraging students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip by signing up for updates throughout the visit. View the First Lady’s message to students here.

PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education will offer engagement opportunities for young people surrounding the trip, along with resources available for U.S. classrooms that explore the culture, geography, current events and people of China.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Washington, DC * 2:00 PM – As part of her focus on education and reaching out to students for her upcoming trip to China, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School – a Chinese-immersion, International Baccalaureate, elementary school in Washington, DC. At the event, Mrs. Obama will encourage students around the U.S. to follow her trip. The First Lady will deliver brief, informal remarks following a 6th grade presentation on their 2013 trip to China. The First Lady will also visit with pre-Kindergarten students in their classroom to experience their language learning firsthand. The First Lady’s remarks and the 6th grade presentation will be open press; the visit with Pre-Kindergarten students will be covered by a pool.

Yu Ying – meaning nurturing excellence – takes its name from a groundbreaking girls school founded in 1911 in Beijing, China. Established by a former Imperial Lady-in-Waiting, Madame Tzen-Kuei Wang, the Yu Ying School offered classroom education at a time when the centuries-old tutorial system was still the norm in China. The school was a powerful force for educational change in China.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.