Saturday, August 20, 2022

Carroll Senior Participates in Chinese Bridge Competition in China

Carroll senior student Jarred Repice recently participated in the 9th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition in Kunming, China Oct.13-Oct 30.

Repice (pictured middle) joined top secondary school competitors from 89 countries around the world for this Olympic Game equivalence of Chinese proficiency competition.

Repice qualified to represent U.S. to enter this prestigious event by winning in Chinese speech, talent, and cultural knowledge competition against ten southern U.S. states back in April 2016. He is currently a Mandarin 4AP student at Carroll ISD. To him, participating in the World Chinese Bridge is a life-changing unforgettable experience. For more info about the competition, please see

Sister Cities International Day

At the June 21, 2016 City Council meeting, Mayor Hill and the City Council proclaimed July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day. Sister Cities International Day will commemorate 60 years since the organization was founded as a Presidential initiative by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

The organization now spans over 550 U.S. member cities, counties and states with relationships with over 2,100 communities in 145 countries, spanning 6 continents. The organization began with a mission to create more community-led global relationships so that people of different cultures could appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new national conflicts. It is our goal to celebrate sister cities and the impact they make on the world on this day.

The City of Southlake is proud to be a driving part of this global network with sister city partnerships spanning the globe in Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. This year, the City of Southlake is celebrating 25 years of friendship with Tome, Japan (formerly Toyoma). The mission of Southlake Sister Cities mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation; one individual, one community at a time.

The City of Southlake is joining hundreds of cities around the globe and thousands of people around the world in celebrating this day to mark this major milestone for world peace.

To learn more about the Southlake Sister Cities program and view upcoming events, please visit

Southlake Student Delegation Visits China

Imagine traveling back in time 1,500 years. Three Southlake Carroll students,  Peter Mountford, Anna Ponzo and Ty Ponzo, got an experience of a lifetime over Spring Break when they traveled with Southlake Sister Cities to Suzhou Wuzhong, China.

Suzhou, one of Southlake’s Sister Cities, was founded in China in 514 BC and is known as the Venice of the East with its gardens, canals and area water towns. In partnership with the Jiangsu Foreign Language School, the students were paired with host families and treated to school days in China. Daily activities included classes in calligraphy, painting, traditional Chinese music and dance, and more. The host school arranged for daily cultural trips to discover some beauty of the ancient world.

Students spent one day in Luzhi, an elegant water town constructed 1,500 years ago, located near Suzhou and surrounded by five lakes. It holds 41 quaint ancient bridges, built in the Song (960–1279), Yuan (1271–1368), Ming, and Qing dynasties. So Luzhi is known as the “Museum of Chinesebridges”.

Additional highlights of the trip included a stroll down Pingjiang Road, a preserved 800-year old water lane in Suzhou, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Suzhou Museum and a 2-day tour of Shanghai. Students were educated in the more recent history of Shanghai and the influence World War II had on the area. Jeff and Catherine Wang, of Southlake Sister Cities, led the excursion and Southlake’s City Librarian, Cynthia Pfledderer, served as a chaperone.

The Southlake Sister Cities program partners with the City of Southlake to offer exchange trips for both students and adults between Sister Cities Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. For more information about Sister Cities and the exchange programs, please visit:

Travel to China or Japan with Southlake Sister Cities

Arrival in TomeThe Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program offers the youth of Southlake an opportunity to represent the City as a Youth Ambassador to one of Southlake’s Sister Cities – Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. The Youth Ambassadors and adult chaperone are immersed in a cultural experience while living with host families and experiencing a variety of activities planned by the city and their hosts. 

Serving as a Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador provides the opportunity for global friendship and a life-changing experience while fulfilling and underscoring the mission of the Sister Cities International program of “bringing the world together through education and cultural exchange.”

Suzhou Wuzhong, China
March 5-14th, 2015 (spring break) 

  • Visit beautiful Suzhou Wuzhong District – the cradleland of the ancient Wu culture
  • Experience Chinese daily life with Wuzhong host families thru homestay program
  • Interact with students and faculty at Jiangsu Foreign Language School
  • Explore historical and cultural heritage sites
  • 2-day tour of the magnificent city of Shanghai
  • Estimated cost: $2,500 per person
  • Early decision: November 1st, 2014, Regular Deadline: December 5th, 2014

Tome, Japan
June 8-15th, 2015 (summer break)

  • Experience Japanese daily life and culture thru Tome homestay program
  • Interact with students, faculty and citizens of Tome
  • Visit famous sites in Tome and surrounding areas
  • Half-day tour of Tokyo
  • Estimated cost: $2,000
  • Application Deadline: November 20th, 2014
For more information and application forms, please visit: For information and questions regarding the Wuzhong trip, please contact Jeff Wang at or 817-251-1001. For information and questions regarding the Tome trip, please contact Kikukoe Ekstrom at or 817-481-5113

Southlake Sister Cities Seeks Youth Ambassadors for Trips to China and Japan in 2014

As the saying goes, friendship knows no distance. This is certainly the case for Southlake and Suzhou Wuzhong District, China. Although thousands of miles and an ocean apart, the two cities signed a Friendship City agreement in November 2010 to develop a reciprocal relationship and promote cultural exchanges. Operating under the same guidelines as the Sister City relationships Southlake has with Tome in Japan and El Fuerte in Mexico, the term Friendship City is used in China.

Suzhou, Wuzhong, China

As part of the Friendship City agreement, the first Southlake youth ambassador exchange trip is planned March 6-14, 2014, during Carroll ISD’s Spring Break. A life changing event, students and chaperones are paired with Wuzhong host families during their stay to experience first-hand the Chinese culture. In addition, a well-planned itinerary combines historical, educational, and cultural activities:

  • Visit beautiful Suzhou City, known as “Venice of the East” and “City of Gardens”
  • Explore historical sites that carry more than 2,500 years of rich cultural heritage
  • Interact with students and faculty at Jiangsu Foreign Language School
  • Tour the magnificent city of Shanghai

The approximate cost of the trip is $2,500 per person (including airfare).  Applications are available online, in the Southlake Public Library, or the Community Services Department and must be submitted by December 2, 2013. To qualify as a youth ambassador, students must be a resident of Southlake or current member of Southlake Sister Cities; between 15-18 years of age (at the time trip begins); submit a recommendation from a teacher or counselor; and attend mandatory orientation(s) prior to the trip.

According to Stacey Wojnicki, the City’s staff liaison to Southlake Sister Cities, being a youth ambassador means representing Southlake and the United States. “Being a youth ambassador to another country is a huge honor. We want to instill in the kids that they are representing their school, community and country,” she said.

Plans for the youth ambassador trip have been in the works for awhile. An adult delegation, including previous Southlake City Council Member Jeff Wang, who is also president of Southlake Sister Cities, visited the Wuzhong District of Suzhou, China in November 2011 and October 2013 to speak with local government and school officials about youth delegations visiting both countries. The hope is to make these trips an annual occurrence.

Suzhou, which has a population of more than six million, is a cultural city with a history spanning 2,500 years. It is located at the entrance of the Yangtze River Delta in China. With a network of rivers and canals as well as fertile land, the city is rich in a variety of agricultural products. Suzhou has been referred to as the “City of Gardens,” “Land of Fish and Rice,” “Silk Capital” and “Paradise on Earth.” Aside from its beauty, Suzhou is also an economic powerhouse— ranked first for contracted foreign capital and fourth in total import/export volume in China. Wuzhong District (pop. 600,000) enjoys a history of well developed culture, picturesque landscape and is the cradle land of ancient Wu Culture.

Tome, Japan

Southlake Sister Cities is also accepting applications for its annual youth delegation trip to Tome, Japan, which has been a Sister City since 1991. Each summer, a group of Southlake students and chaperone(s) head to the Far East for a once-in-a-lifetime Japanese experience. After arriving in Tokyo and then a bullet train ride to Tome, they are paired with host families for their week-long stay. In addition to experiencing Japanese culture, customs and cuisine first-hand, the host families escort the youth ambassadors to many places in Tome, known for its samurai history, as well as scenic Matsushima.

Tome is located in the northeast part of the Miyagi Prefecture with a population of approximately 91,905 residents. Tome was originally a district that consisted of eight towns, including Southlake’s original Sister City, Toyoma. In April 2005, the towns merged with the town of Tsuyama, formerly of the Motoyoshi District, to form the new city of Tome.    The annual Southlake youth ambassador exchange trip to Tome, Japan is planned for June 9-16, 2014.  Applications are available online and are due by January 31, 2014.  More information coming soon!

Southlake Sister Cities (SSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering global understanding, friendship and communication through education and exchanges. Membership is open to individuals, youth, families, non-profit/civic organizations, for profit businesses, and patrons.

For more information, go to or contact Stacey Wojnicki in the Community Services Department at 817-748-8036 or by email at

Southlake Sister Cities Accepting Travel Applications

Southlake Sisters Cities organization is part of the Sister Cities International offering several programs which include Youth Embassador Program. Youth Embassador Program offers students opportunities to get involved in the community and sister city communities.

In the past SSC has offered annual trips to sister city Tome, Japan to Southlake students. The students traveled to amazing locations and learned the local culture and people. They experienced every life in a home-stay environment. Many students enjoyed the experience they made more than on trip.

Adding to SSC’s annual trip to Tome, will be to Suzhou, China. Suzhou is SSC’s new sister city which was established in 2010. SSC offers a wonderful experience and exciting way to learn about China. Aside from visiting ancient and exotic locations in China, our students will  experience the everyday life of Chinese people, their food, and practice language skills.The trip is a week long starting Friday, Mar. 8- 15, 2013. Applications are being accepted through Saturday, December 16. Chaperones will be determined by SSC, City of Southlake and/or Carroll ISD. Visit to apply.