The Sullivans School on board Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) in Yokosuka, Japan participated in not one, but two different school cultural exchanges during the month of November. On November 18 fourth grade students from The Sullivans School hosted over 100 fourth grade students from Tado Elementary School in Yokosuka City. Then, on November 23, 5th grade students and some 4th grade students from The Sullivans School took part in the third annual English World Celebration organized by Yokosuka City Hall and held at Suwa Elementary School, a Japanese elementary school near Yokosuka Base.
The 100 Japanese fourth grade students from Tado Elementary were split up into 6 different classrooms and enjoyed Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematical (STEM) activities with their American friends. In Ms. Salvador’s class the children built marshmallow and spaghetti towers, trying to build the towers as high as they could. Mr. Ken Peldunas’ students built paper towers. Peldunas said, “The children really enjoyed the STEM activities. I can hardly wait to visit their school now.” The American students will visit the Tado Elementary in December.
The English World Celebration was organized by Yokosuka City Hall and took place at Suwa Elementary School during Labour Thanksgiving Day, a Japanese National Holiday. Four fourth and fifth grade classes from Sullivans met an equal amount of students and teachers from several different schools who had given up their holiday to attend the event. Children began by matching puzzle pieces to find language partners and moved on in groups to several activities designed to foster communication between the partners.
English World, now in its third year, was established to “encourage the international children in our community to improve their English and Japanese communication skills,” according to Seiko Nemoto, Sullivans School Host Nation Teacher. Kudos to Hironobu Goto, Supervisor of English Education, Yokosuka City Board of Education, who led an army of educators, volunteers and parents who presented a stellar event enjoyed by many students from both nations.