DeWitt Junior High School's Japanese Student Exchange Program

CREATED Jan 9, 2014

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The DeWitt Junior High School (DJHS) will welcome ten 8th grade students from Koka City, Japan, on Friday, January 10th, as part of the school’s Japanese Student Exchange Program.

In May, ten DeWitt students will spend a week with host families in Japan. The Exchange Program marks its 17th year of providing opportunities for Japanese and American students to experience each other’s educational systems and cultural features.

Micah Takeshi Cousins, the Japanese Language and Culture teacher at both the DeWitt Junior High and High Schools, coordinates the Exchange Program originally developed by now retired teacher Larry Arbannas.

The DeWitt students will host a welcome breakfast on Monday, January 13th at 7:40 a.m. in the DJHS cafeteria. Special guests attending the breakfast include Representative Tom Leonard, Mayor Jim Rundborg, Richard Galardi, DeWitt Charter Township Supervisor, John Deiter, Ph.D., DeWitt Public Schools Superintendent, Rob Spagnuolo, DeWitt Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Dawn Pysarchik, Michigan Shiga (Japan) Sister-State and Sister- City Board Chair, and Kentaro Taki, Shiga Visiting Official.

Throughout the week Koka City students will shadow their host students as they attend classes. Other planned activities include shopping in the community, visiting local sites like the DeWitt's Police and Fire Stations, and excursions to the State Capitol, and the campuses of Michigan State University and Lansing Community College.

"The cultural experience will provide some incredible memories for our students and open their eyes to another world and future opportunities," Cousins said. "The children come away from this experience amazed by all the differences in each other’s daily lives."