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Sister Cities Newport News wishes to thank all for the support given over the past month of “March Madness” …54 international delegates arrived and were treated extraordinarily well by over 50 “Homestay Host” and “Day Hosts”. This is a record number for our organization. And speaking of records, over 220 attended our annual GlobalBee Quiz.
Our community truly stepped in to help – the City of Newport News provided the fantastic site for our 9th Annual GlobalBee Quiz (Midtown Community Center rocks!) and supported us with transportation, professionally guided tours of Endview and Lee Hall plantations and some “promotional gifts” for the delegates. The principals and staff of Hilton, Menchville, Warwick, Woodside and Peninsula Catholic High allowed us to send many, many young people into their schools to experience our American education system. CNU provided well-run student tours and a delightful ”Jazz for Japan” concert in the beautiful ballroom of the David Student Union. Canon Virginia and area museums including the Virginia Living Museum (VLM), The Mariners’ Museum and the Virginia Air and Space Center (VASC) offered personalized tours that will surely resonate with these international guests for years to come. And, donations by PMA Architecture and SMOKE BBQ made it possible for SCNN to host all 54 delegates and their local host families under one roof on the day the two delegations crossed over.
We also received some nice press from Newport News Now our city’s new daily news feed or “N3" https://www.nnva.gov/Blog.aspx?CID=4 and The Daily Press, http://www.dailypress.com/news/education/dp-nws-exchange-students-20160329-story.html ) for which we are very appreciative.
A simple “Thank You” really doesn’t seem enough for all who have done so much. Please know that Sister Cities stands ready to support your organization and/or you personally to improve our community’s understanding and access to the international community. Ours is a “reciprocal exchange program”, and SCNN is currently forming outgoing “Citizen Delegations” to all three official Sister Cities (Germany this May, Japan this November and China TBA.) We are also hoping to ramp up the official exchange process with our friendship city of St. Nazaire, France. Those interested in participating on an exchange or simply learning more about what we do, are encouraged to contact to me or any member of SCNN’s Board of Directors.
Can’t wait until we do this again!
Join Sister Cities of Newport News (SCNN) on Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Brittingham-Midtown Community Center for the 9th Annual GlobalBee International Quiz. A visiting delegation of International students from Jahn Gymnasium in Greifswald, Germany will also be entering teams into the event and competing for the "Bill Williams Cup of Global Knowledge", named in honor of the late Newport News educator and Sister Cities' President. Trophies will also be awarded to the top College and High School Finishers.
Sister Cities will also award two (2) - $1,000 scholarships to local High School Seniors at the event. The scholarships are designed to encourage continuous learning in the fields of foreign language and/or international relations. Scholarship applications can be downloaded at www.sistercities-nn.com; Application deadline is March 1.
Register your team of up to five (5) members (4 players and 1 alternate) to compete. Registration is $50 per team and includes lunch. High School teams play and eat for FREE! Categories include Geography, Current World Events, World Religions, International Sports, Customs, and World History. High School, College, Corporate and Civic teams are all welcome. The GlobalBee has a silent quiz format — teams answer on paper, not verbally. The Global Bee has five rounds of questions broken into two sessions — each round has 10–20 questions. Some questions will be multiple choice, others fill in the blank. There will be fewer multiple choice questions as the competition progresses. For each round, the team will be given an envelope and have 5 minutes to answer the questions given. All teams will get the same questions. Each team must elect a scribe to write down their answers and sign the answer sheet. At the end of Session I we will grade and list the teams in place order; we will not reveal the number right or wrong, just the teams’ placement. There is no elimination process. All teams will compete until the end. An alternate can be substituted after any round of questions. After Session II, the winner (team with the most correct answers) will be announced and trophies awarded. If a tie exists, it will be settled by a “best of” set of questions until a winner is determined.
Non-team members such as friends, parents, and teachers are welcome to attend for an observer fee of $10 (includes lunch). This event is FREE for current SCNN members. Register online using Eventbrite or call 926-1348. Team registrations are due by Friday, March 11th.
Spring will soon be here along with a 21 member delegation from Newport News’ oldest Sister City, Neyagawa (Osaka) Japan. The mixed delegation (14 youth and 7 adults) will arrive March 24 and depart March 30. Sister Cities is thrilled to have several local families serve as “Homestay Hosts” for the delegates.
The delegation (pictured left) is currently preparing for their visit and will make a presentation during their stay at Woodside High.
Several youth delegates (15-19 years old) still need housing. Hosting a student is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in Japanese anime or language, as well as those eager to expand their world internationally. Students and families interested in hosting a student can call 757.926.1348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The attached picture of the delegation came with this greeting from the organizing body, NIEFA (Neyagawa International Exchange and Friendship Association):
Last weekend, we held the formal ceremony for the formation of our delegation bound for Newport News. I have attached a picture from the event.
Pictured are the members of the delegation, NIEFA’s chairman, as well as the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Director of Neyagawa City.
With heightened enthusiasm, we look forward to our upcoming visit.
We also look forward to further communication from you.
A traditional Japanese doll display has arrived at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. Hina Matsuri, or Japanese Doll Festival, is held on the 3rd day of March. Parents celebrate their daughters' happiness, growth, and good health. The festival has its origins about 1,000 years ago in the Heian Period (794-1192). It is a traditional custom to display ceremonial dolls on tiered shelves covered with scarlet carpet. The dolls are dressed in the fashion of the people of the ancient court. The Emperor and Empress (middle image) are placed on the upper-most tier, followed by the ladies in waiting and ministers. Families generally start to display the dolls around mid-February and take down the platforms immediately after the festival. Superstition says that leaving the dolls out past March 4 will result in a late marriage for the daughter.
This doll display was a gift to Newport News from our Sister City of Neyagawa (Osaka Prefecture). Neyagawa’s mascot (the cartooned image left) is based on the local folk tale of Princess Hachikazuki (Hachikazuki Hime): "the princess with a bowl on her head". Princess Hachikazuki is depicted soaring in the sky, holding a rose, the flower of Neyagawa city, and riding on a cherry blossom petal, the city's official tree.
Read the whole legend and how a bowl came to be on her head by clicking on the mascot!
Sister Cities is pleased to announce that the organization will again awarded 2 - $1,000 scholarship to local high school seniors. Last year's awardees were Pearl Ham (Warwick) and Ben Lambert (Warwick). Applications are available online at www.sistercities-nn.com, at Newport News High School Guidance Offices or by calling 757.926.1348. The application deadline is March 1 and awards will be announced on March 19 at the ninth Annual GlobalBee International Quiz.
SCNN contends that continuous learning about people and their communities facilitates social and economic growth in addition to fostering mutual respect. The goal of the scholarships is to further Sister Cities' mission of building and strengthening "international cooperation, understanding and development between the citizens of the City of Newport News and to those of the world."
In light of last month’s terror attacks in Paris, local French language students are “messaging” with students in Saint Nazaire, France. The Warwick High School students created a “triptych” styled poster featuring messages in blue, white and red offering support and condolences. “Stay Strong, Have Hope, Fraternité , and Vive La France” are just a few of the handwritten messages decorated and pasted to the banner.
“All of France felt the terror of the Paris attacks. My students wanted to express their sadness for the victims and their families. They wanted to do something. They wanted to say that America cares. Creating a poster covered with well-wishes and sharing it with students in Saint Nazaire just seemed the right gesture” noted LaVerne Flowers, the student’s French Teacher at Warwick High.
For the past two years, Madame Flowers (as she is referred to by students and colleagues) has been active in the local Sister Cities program, working to build the relationship between Newport News and the French city. Last April, Flowers traveled to the harbor city in the Pays de la Loire region of France to meet with local officials and school representatives to see first-hand if Saint Nazaire was a good match for Newport News. As it turns out, in addition to shipbuilding and aviation assets, Saint Nazaire has an old connection to Newport News. It was the designated port of debarkation for many of the US Army’s supplies, especially horses, shipped out of Newport News to Europe in World War I.
Sister Cities’ mission is to promote peace, one individual, one community at a time. These young people knew innately what needed to be done and took the initiative to reach out and share a message of unity with our French friendship city. I give them great credit for understanding that terror has no foothold in places where peace and hope reside. KZH
Newport News’ Sister Cities in Japan and Germany are scheduled to send large delegations, including youth members in spring 2016. Dates are:
German Delegation: arrives March 18 - departs March 25
Japanese Delegation: arrive March 24 - departs March 30
It is not too early to tell us that you are interested in hosting!
Sister Cities is pleased to once again work with Christopher Newport University (CNU) to find weekend “Homestay Hosts” (2 Nights Only) for 28 students and 2 faculty members from China’s University of Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC). The students are here attending a 2-week summer program at CNU. During their time at the university, they will attend English classes and special lectures. They will also enjoy visits to scientific and historical sites in the area. Hosts involved with last summer's program reported wonderful experiences!
Dates are: Nights of Friday -July 24, and Saturday-July 25 with a return to the CNU dorm at the end of the day on Sunday, July 26. Pick up and drop off will be at CNU. There will be a BBQ dinner for all (faculty, students and host families) to attend on Sunday before the return to the dorms. Host families need not be Newport News residents. In fact, several hosts are from the surrounding counties of York, Poquoson and James City as well as the City of Hampton. Hosts are not expected to “entertain” the students; the goal of a “homestay” is to introduce people of different cultures to typical, American, daily life. (If there is such a thing!) Going to the grocery store, running errands, dropping kids off at events, attending a house of worship…you are welcome to follow your normal routines.
If you have not hosted before, this is a great opportunity as the visit is short and there is no schedule to keep other than pick-up and drop off. If you have a friend or neighbor who might consider hosting, please let them know about this opportunity. Completion of a one-page "Host Application" is required. More information is available by calling Kate Helwig, SCNN's Executive Director at 757-926-1348 or our website:
(France) Twenty years ago, a small group dreamed of reconstructing an exact replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century ship called the Hermione. Today, the majestic vessel is the largest and most authentically built Tall Ship in the last 150 years. The Hermione has set sail in France, launching an adventure that comes to Virginia early this June, with her first landing at Yorktown. Several local events are being organized by Sister Cities Yorktown. Yorktown has been "sistered" since 1990 with the tiny French Mediterranean village of Port-Vendres.
An unprecedented voyage will follow the landing at Yorktown, with stops in 12 ports along the East Coast. The ship should be in New York City for the Fourth of July, possibly sharing Independence Day fireworks with the Statue of Liberty - a gift from France in 1886, that has been America's quintessential national symbol of freedom.
Looking for more information? http://www.hermione2015.com/index.html and http://sistercitiesyorktown.org
Want to attend the festivities locally? Join SCNN's email distribution list via this site or email@example.com
Join Sister Cities of Newport News (SCNN) on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Brittingham-Midtown Community Center for the 8th Annual Global Bee International Quiz.
SCNN is seeking teams of up to five (5) members (4 players &1 alternate) to compete in the categories of Geography, Current World Events, World Religions, International Sports, Customs, and World History. High School, College, Corporate and Civic teams are encouraged to participate. The winning team with take home the coveted “Bill Williams Cup of Global Knowledge”, named in honor of the late Newport News educator and Sister Cities’ President.
This year SCNN will also use the event to announce the awarding of two (2) - $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are designed to encourage continuous learning in the fields of foreign language and/or international relations. Scholarship information is available at www.sistercities-nn.com ; scholarship application deadline is March 1.
Prior year GlobalBee competitors include a multi-year winning team from PETA Norfolk, the City of Newport News, Sister Cities Hampton, and “The Chesapeake” retirement community in addition to super talented college teams from CNU, ODU and TNCC. High School students compete with the adults but a separate trophy is also award to the top scoring school team. Last year’s high school trophy was taken home by Warwick High.
Registration is $50 per team and includes lunch. High School teams play and eat for FREE! Non-team members such as friends, parents, and teachers are welcome to attend for an observer fee of $10 (includes lunch). This event is FREE for current SCNN members. Registration forms are available at www.sistercities-nn.com or by at 757-926-1348. Team registrations are due by March 13th.