Sunday, June 20, 2021

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 www.southlakesistercities.org

Sister Cities Delegation arrives from Tome

On Wednesday, March 23 a Sister Cities delegation of students from Tome, Japan will arrive in North Texas. As part of their trip delegates will tour Southlake, meet Mayor Laura Hill, visit Johnson Elementary School, and also tour DPS North.

After their visit to the DFW area, Southlake Sister Cities will be hosting a Sayonara Potluck Party for the departing Tome students. The party will be Saturday, March 26 at 6:00 PM in Southlake Town Hall on the 3rd floor. The event is open to the public, please bring your family and friends.

For more information on this and other programs and events, please contact Southlake Parks and Recreation at (817) 748-8019 or visit www.SouthlakeParksandRec.com.
SSC will provide meat and drinks. Arigato in advance!!

City of Southlake and student delegation celebrate 10 year Sister City anniversary in Tome, Japan

Southlake student delegates with their host familes in Tome, Japan.

Southlake student delegates with their host familes in Tome, Japan.

In honor of Southlake Sister Cities’ 10-year anniversary with the city of Tome, Japan, Southlake Mayor Pro Tem Randy Williamson, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Brandon Bledsoe, and Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher traveled to Tome on June 4, 2015 to participate in an official ceremony commemorating the anniversary.

Right behind them, a student delegation from Carroll I.S.D., including Valeria Aceves, Ana Warner, Erica Warner, Austin Hintze, and Evan Young, also traveled to Tome. The students were led by City of Southlake’s Community Services’ Cassie Tucker and her husband Jon-Erik Tucker.

The students departed on Monday, June 8, 2015 for their week long excursion that started with a thirteen hour flight and a two-hour bullet train ride on “Shinkansen,” to Tome City. The student delegation stayed with host families while visiting the city and took multiple guided tours led by Tome Sister Cities coordinator, Seikoh Sasaki. The students met with Tome Mayor Takahisa Fuse and Superintendent of the City Board of Education Nobuo Satoh. “Tome welcomed us and they were very excited to give our students the full Japan experience,” said Cassie Tucker.

Some of the activities include a boat ride down the Kitakami River, visits to several temples including the Kofukuji Temple where they practiced calligraphy, and a visit to Toyosato Junior High where the students acted as judges for English presentations.

The celebration concluded with a party on Friday night hosted by the city of Tome. They enjoyed traditional Japanese drumming along with over 100 citizens of Tome. Mr. Ito, President of Tome’s International Friendship Association, presented the students with small mementos to remember their experience. The whole experience was very exciting for all of the students; they made many friends and memories, while embracing the Japanese culture.

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: www.southlakesistercities.org.

Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple where the students practiced calligraphy

City of Southlake and Southlake Sister Cities host student delegation from Tome, Japan

This past week, the City of Southlake and Southlake Sister Cities were happy to welcome eleven delegates (nine students and two chaperons) from Southlake’s Sister City, Tome, Japan for a cultural exchange visit. The delegation landed Thursday, March 19 and departed early in the morning on Monday, March 23, 2015.

Southlake Sister Cities has facilitated the exchange program for over 20 years, a program that is made possible by the Southlake families who open their homes to host the students. Throughout the homestay, families plan a wide-variety of American experiences. Some of the events that students were able to enjoy this time included; a Baylor University football scrimmage, playing tag at Main Event, seeing the Longhorns at the Fort Worth Stockyards, visiting the JFK Museum and of course – stocking up on souvenirs at the mall. Many students expressed they were most surprised by the food – “big hamburgers” and “delicious pizza!” Host families enjoyed learning about the Japanese culture and the visiting students demonstrated a traditional tea ceremony and explained the sport of Kendo.

Southlake Sister Cities also led the delegation on a tour of the City of Southlake, beginning with breakfast and a tour at Central Market. They spent the morning and afternoon visiting Johnson Elementary and Carroll High School.  After visiting the schools, they toured Southlake Town Hall and met with Assistant City Manager, Ben Thatcher. Tome City representative, Yoichi Sasaki presented an invitation to the City of Southlake for an official celebration hosted in Tome recognizing the 10th anniversary of the City of Southlake and City of Tome, Sister City relationship. Councilmember Randy Williamson, Councilmember Brandon Bledsoe, and Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher will represent the City of Southlake and attend the ceremony in June, 2015.

The delegation’s Southlake tour ended with a visit to the DPS North Station where Range Master Mike Bedrich showed the students the firing range and they also learned about the fire department and even tried on some fire gear!

The exchange trip concluded with a Potluck Sayonara Party on Sunday, March 22nd hosted at Southlake Town Hall. The students enjoyed a variety of American dishes, shared their favorite memories from the trip and were presented with cowboy hats.

The delegation began their journey back to Tome on the morning of Monday, March 23 – stopping for a day in San Francisco before completing their trip – they are schedule to arrive back inTome on March 26th.

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: www.southlakesistercities.org.

Sister Cities and City of Southlake  host delegation from Tome, Japan

The delegation students from Tome, Japan toured Central Market, met with Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher and took a tour of Southlake DPS North while visiting Southlake.

 

Students from Tome, Japan Visit Southlake

Students from Tome, Japan who will visit Southlake March 20-24

Students from Tome, Japan who will visit Southlake March 20-24

Southlake Sister Cities welcomes students from Tome, Japan to Southlake March 20-24, 2014. As part of the the Sister Cities agreement Southlake has with Tome, a trip to each city is organized once a year to provide cultural exchange opportunities for Tome and Southlake students. For over two decades, the exchange program offered through Southlake Sister Cities has developed strong bonds between the two cities.

While in Southlake, the Japanese students will stay with host families and experience American culture first-hand. The students will create life-long friendships with their families as they enjoy home-cooked meals and participate in family traditions. Many host families will also take their exchange student around the Metroplex to explore some of DFW’s most famous attractions.

Southlake Sister Cities has also planned many group activities for the delegation to ensure a fun and educational experience. On Friday, the students will take a tour of Southlake. The tour includes: Central Market, several Carroll ISD schools and City of Southlake facilities. On Saturday evening, a “Students Only Party” will be held at one of the host family’s homes to allow students from both countries an opportunity to mingle and learn more about one another.  A farewell potluck party will be held in Town Hall Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. to wrap up their trip.

In June, a delegation of Southlake students will travel to Tome to experience life in the Far East. 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.

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 about Southlake Sister Cities or how to become involved in upcoming exchange programs, please visit  www.SouthlakeSisterCities.org or contact the Southlake Community Services Department at (817) 748-8019.

Southlake Sister Cities Seeks Youth Ambassadors for a Trip to Tome, Japan

Southlake Sister Cities is 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. The annual Southlake youth ambassador exchange trip to Tome, Japan is planned for June 9-16, 2014.  Students ages 14-18 years old are encouraged to apply. Applications are available online and are due by February 15, 2014.

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.

According to Candice Edmondson, Deputy Director of Community Services, participating in an exchange program, like the youth ambassador trip to Tome, Japan, is a life changing experience. “Students who are able to participate in a youth exchange program not only develop a greater understanding for cultures much different than our own, but they also create life-long friendships.  The students I chaperoned two years ago keep in touch with their host families and continue to participate in other Sister Cities programs.  My husband and I also developed a close relationship with our host family and communicate with them on a regular basis.  Ask anyone who’s been before and they will say that the trip to Tome was one of the best experiences of their lives” she said.

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 www.SouthlakeSisterCities.org or contact Candice Edmondson in the Community Services Department at 817-748-8311 or by email at cedmondson@ci.southlake.tx.us.

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 http://www.southlakesistercities.org/ to apply.