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Archive for Monday, July 29, 1996

HIRATSUKA STUDENTS ARRIVE FOR VISIT

July 29, 1996

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A delegation of 20 junior high and high school students from Hiratsuka, Japan, has arrived in Lawrence as part the "Friends of Hiratsuka" summer exchange program.

Mickey and Berta Woolard are scheduling events for the Hiratsuka delegation's stay in Lawrence.

The trips are an excellent opportunity for students to learn about foreign culture, they said.

A group of Lawrence students visited Hiratsuka July 15-24.

While the students may not speak the same language, the Woolards said they should have no problem getting accustomed to Kansas and the city of Lawrence.

"They all learn about each other's sister cities, so they have a real good understanding of Lawrence and Kansas before they go," Berta Woolard said. "It's a learning process also because they are learning about another culture."

While in Lawrence, the Hiratsuka delegation will stay with volunteer host, or "homestay," families.

The families are often those who have sent their children to Hiratsuka or are members of Friends of Hiratsuka, Mickey Woolard said.

Woolard said hosting a Japanese student in the sister city exchange builds friendships that can last forever.

"It's really a long-lasting friendship that is built," Mickey Woolard said. "With our own kids, we have letters coming in the mail from Japan regularly."

Events planned in Lawrence for the Hiratsuka group include a day of shopping downtown and a reception at city hall, plus several homestay family activities.

The Hiratsuka student delegation will return Aug. 7 to Japan.

Lawrence and Hiratsuka formed a sister-city partnership in 1990.

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