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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saipan Mayor’s Office needs host families

The Saipan Mayor’s Office is looking for local families who are willing to host Japanese students visiting this year for cultural exchange programs.

This summer, two groups of Japanese students will be visiting Saipan: one from the Sanpo-en School and the other, the Itoda School.

The Sanpo-en group requires about 40 families to host students—both girls and boys—ages 11 to 18. They are expected to arrive at the end of July and early August.

The Itoda School includes both girls and boys ages 10 to 13. There will be about 10 to 12 students accompanied by chaperones and will be doing home stay for one week. Expected times of arrival are between June to August.

During Japan’s winter season, two groups will be visiting. The first one are Kokusai Seishonen Kenshu Kyokai students from different parts of Japan. About six host families are needed for 12 students who will be staying up to one week. Their ages varies from 9 to 12 years old. The group will be arriving twice in 2014. One group will arrive in July and the other is expected in December.

Johoku Boys High School includes only boys. About 70 host families are needed to host boys ranging from ages 15 to 17 years. The JBHS students are part of an instrumental team called “Kimura Ryu” and play the instruments called koto, a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument similar to guitars or banjos. They will be doing a five-day home stay and are expected to be on Saipan from Nov. 17 to Nov. 21.

For more than two decades now the Saipan Mayor’s Office has been hosting these cultural exchange programs.

Larissa Flores and Joann Aquino, home stay program coordinators for the mayor’s office, said they need the community’s support for the home stay component of these cultural exchanges.

Interested families can pick up home stay applications at the Saipan Mayor’s Office at the Ladera Center on Beach Road or contact Flores or Aquino at 234-6208, 234-6280, 235-7304.

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