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Stearley Heights Elementary School news

Date Posted: 1998-12-25

DoDDS Schools on Okinawa have had a long history of interacting with local "sister" schools, and Stearley Heights Elementary School (S.H.E.S) is no exception. This past week Ms. Lemonís Sixth grade class got the chance to visit with Sixth grade classmates from Makiminato Elementary School.

When they arrived at the school they were greated in traditional Okinawan style. Midori Sensei, a Sixth grade teacher from Makiminato hosted the welcome ceremony.

During the opening ceremony Stearley Heights Principal, Mr. Furusho, said he was glad that SHES was able to rekindled the "Sister School" program with Mr. Maedomari, the Principal of Makiminato Elementary School. Mr. Maedomari said in his opening speech that he used to be the principal at Koza Elementary and during that time Stearley Heights was his sister school. Now that he was the principal of Makininata Elementary, he was glad to once again to have the opportunity to interact with Stearley Heights students from SHES.

Following the opening speeches, the Sixth grade class performed a song on the recorder and traditional Eisa dances for the American students.

Next it was the Americanís turn. The students were evenly divided into small groups each with a different task to perform. The students then showed their Japanese counterparts how to make several different kinds of Christmas ornaments. It was a great exercise in communication and helped the students bond.

Following the crafts sessions, the Americans visited a Japanese music classroom. The students listened to their Japanese hosts play the organ, the recorder, and the xylophone.

Next on the agenda was lunch. American students to share a Japanese lunch with their new found friends in the school gym which doubles as the cafeteria for lunch. The students ate a meal which included rice, Japanese vegetables, clams, and yogurt. After lunch the students shared a round of friendly basketball.

By the time the school day had ended, nobody wanted to go home. Everyone had made a new friend. The students will get another chance to meet their new friends later in the year. The next time the students meet will be when Makiminato students come will get the chance to visit

Although Ms. Lemons class was the first group of SHES students to visit a Japanese school this year, they will not be the last. Later in the school year classes from Kindergarten, Second, Fifth, and other Sixth grade students will also get this chance.

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