The Morris Center plays host to a different culture each month for First Friday ArtWalk. June 2018 ArtWalk featured Japan.
Students chose the name for the event, created promotional materials, planned activities, and created a performance schedule prior to traveling to Springfield. Their hard work planning was evident in the success of the event.
Different areas of the Morris Center had different themes. In one area, guests could play traditional Japanese games. In another, they were gifted origami, balloon yo-yos, and candies. One room was solely for performances, and guests enjoyed dance, calligraphy, and more.
Sister Cities exchange
Students were in Springfield for a 10-day program that occurs annually at the English Language Institute, as part of ELI Special Programs.
They had a busy itinerary in Springfield. In addition to hosting Japan Night, they spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations. They learned about service-learning, and how to reflect on volunteer experiences. Exploring US culture was an educational experience and they visited local sites. They also spent time in the classroom, studying English to build on their skills.
Opportunities to get involved
Students from Japan visit Springfield each year in June (middle school) and August (high school). Community members are invited to attend Japanese culture nights, like ArtWalk. Both groups also look forward to host family opportunities. Hosts spend a day with visiting students to share local culture. This gives the students a better idea of what real life looks like in the US.
For information on how you can be involved in the August visit, contact ELI Special Programs.