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Lyman Moore Middle School Staff, Students To Host Japanese Visitors

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Lyman Moore Middle School Staff, Students To Host Japanese Visitors
Posted on 07/16/2015
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This year marks the 12th time students from sister cities Portland and Shinagawa, Japan, have traveled in one direction or the other for a visit. The visits have traditionally been organized by Lyman Moore Middle School staff, and a group of them are again stepping up this summer to host and entertain five Japanese students and their two adult chaperones.

The Shinagawa visitors will be here from July 20 to Aug. 3, said David Hilton, an LMMS social studies teacher who is coordinating the visit. The visitors will get to see and experience quite a lot during that time. “We'll go camping and hiking and visit Peaks Island, Boston, and Freeport,” Hilton said. “We'll go to the Sea Dogs, Sebago Lake, and the art museum. They'll also visit and do activities with a multilingual summer school classroom (in which multilingual students are learning English).”

He said LMMS students have figured largely over the years in the student exchange program, called “Falcons Take Flight.” Most of the Portland students who have traveled to Shinagawa have been LMMS students and they also play the role of host when Japanese students come here.

“The goal of the trip is to develop friendships and foster cultural understanding,” Hilton said. “It fits nicely with the aim at Lyman Moore for social studies teachers to develop global competency in each student. One aspect of that teaching is for students to investigate the world.”

The visit will kick off with a welcome party on July 21, at which outgoing Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk and City Councilor Ed Suslovic have been invited to say a few words to the visitors.

Other LMMS staff involved are Principal Steve Rogers, who will host the visitors for a pool party; science teacher Rob Miller, who'll host them at his house on Sebago Lake; ELL teacher Tyler Jellison, who has invited the visitors to his multilingual summer school class; math teacher Naomi Marthai, who helped with the planning; and social studies teacher Regina Morton, who has offered to run a tennis clinic for the visitors. In addition, Mallory Haar, an ELL teacher at Casco Bay High School who previously worked at LMMS, also helped with the planning.

“I hope this trip will leave an imprint on each person involved,” said Hilton, who has forged friendships by hosting Japanese visitors and chaperoning students, including his own children, on visits to Shinagawa. “I hope our visitors will learn about Portland's wonderful diversity, the natural beauty of our land and sea and, most of all, the welcoming nature of our citizens. I hope the visit will continue the tradition of friendship between our peoples. Japan and America have a special relationship and our program reflects that.”

Portland and Shinagawa established their sister city relationship in 1984.
LMMS students, staff involved Shinagawa exchange

Shinagawa Students in classroom

Top: Visitors from Shinagawa, Japan, tour Peaks Island on a previous visit.
Other photos: Lyman Moore Middle School students and staff involved in the Shinagawa student exchange program; Shinagawa students in a classroom in Japan