Moore Hosts Students from Japanese Sister City
A delegation of 10 junior high school students and three chaperones from Shinagawa, Japan will visit Portland this month and stay with Lyman Moore Middle School families as part of the ongoing relationship between schools in the two countries.
A kickoff barbeque will take place on August 4 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Moore. The Japanese delegation will be officially welcomed at a ceremony on August 8 at 10 a.m. at Portland City Hall. Portland Mayor Michael Brennan will join school administrators in greeting the students, chaperones and a Japanese sports exchange group that is visiting at the same time.
Portland has a longstanding sister city relationship with Shinagawa. Exchanges between teachers and students at Moore and Johnan Junior High School in Shinagawa began nearly 20 years ago. Every other year, students from one school visit families from the other school. The two schools also exchange letters and photos throughout the year.
The exchange has fostered some deep friendships. David Hilton, a Moore social studies teacher who helps oversee the program, hosted a girl named Haruka in 2008. Two years later, Hilton’s son, Leo, stayed with Haruka’s family as part of a Moore delegation to Shinagawa. This month, Hilton’s family will host Haruka’s brother, Takahide.
“This exchange allows my kids a chance to connect with people of their own age growing up in a different culture,” says Hilton. “They start to see how much they have in common.”
Elinor Hilton, 12, says she can’t speak much with her Japanese guests because of the language difference. But she added, “There are a lot of ways of getting to know people other than speaking... I remember when Haruka came - it was easy to figure out what she liked because she expressed it through her clothing.” Elinor hopes to participate in the Moore exchange to Shinagawa in 2014 and stay with Haruka's family.