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For Immediate Release

 February 12, 2013

Contact: Dan Voelpel, director, Public Information, 253-571-1015, dvoelpe@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Tacoma Sister Cities student leadership conference Feb. 26

 

Like a professional conference, this prestigious inaugural Tacoma Sister Cities student leadership conference Tuesday, Feb. 26, will bring together about 120 students from Tacoma’s high schools along with representatives from Tacoma’s 12 Sister Cities, the Office of the Mayor, the Tacoma World Trade Center, the Port of Tacoma and other interested organizations to hear about and discuss current world events and their impact upon the city and citizens of Tacoma.

The topic this first year will be “Tacoma’s Trade with the World” and will focus on real-world examples of international trade, exchange and cultural influence from Tacoma’s 12 Sister Cities.

The conference will take place this year at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center (APCC), 4851 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

High school Sister City clubs or other international, professional, honors or service clubs will select student delegates. These delegates will prepare for participation by reading provided articles and doing other research on topics of their own interest.

Speakers will serve on a panel, discussing in a manner suitable for motivated high school students, the topic of the day as seen from their particular vantage point.

Following the speakers’ presentations, student delegates will form numerous panels to discuss how these issues affect Tacoma citizens and how these citizens might respond to or participate in these issues. Each panel will report on its discussions at the end of the day.

Delegates will report to their colleagues in appropriate courses, thereby spreading the experience and the reputation of this program and advertising it for each following annual event. Successive conference topics might include environmental issues, gender or ethnic issues, popular music and film as cultural trade, education, etc.

Tacoma Public Schools will invite teachers to consider ways to embed this experience into their curriculum, preparing delegates, receiving delegates upon return from the conference, and using the topics/speakers in appropriate courses.

This will provide students a real-world opportunity to engage in current events in global locations in which Tacoma has local interest and connections; deepen ties between local leaders and experts and our local public schools; and increase the activity, visibility and impact of the Sister Cities program.

For more information, contact Minh-Anh Hodge, director, Second Language Acquisition and Early Learning, at 253-571-1415 or e-mail her at mhodge@tacoma.k12.wa.us.

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