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July 29, 2016 – Three Japanese high school students have arrived in the community as the Midland-Handa Sister City Student Exchange recently welcomed its 2016 class.
The three students, Ryosuke Kanai, Tomoki Niimi, and Misaki Yoshioka, will spend three weeks in Midland and will each receive a new host family every week. Scheduled group activities include a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, an excursion down the Tittabawassee River in Voyageur canoes, a Great Lakes Loons game, a tennis clinic, and the opportunity to attend and speak at a City Council meeting. The students will also enjoy activities with their host families.
This year’s host families are Andy and Laura Ault, David Baker and Anne Quinn, Marcos Braganca and Nilsa Takamori, Mike and Andrea Dominowski, Randy Frank and Margueritte Kuhn, Nick and Cherie Grasman, Todd and Victoria Pangburn, Jason and Jennifer Trevillian, and Paul and Heather Witt.
The program, now in its thirty-fifth year, provides high school students from Midland and Handa with the opportunity to visit a new country and learn customs and cultures from their host families. The relationship began in 1981 after The Dow Chemical Company developed a plan to locate a plant in Handa. The Sister City program is provided in partnership with The Dow Chemical Company, The Dow Gardens, Chippewa Nature Center, Great Lakes Loons, and Midland Tennis Center.
Next year, Midland will send three high school students to Japan for the three-week exchange program. For more information about the Sister City Student Exchange or applying for the 2017 program, please contact Committee Chair Tina S. Van Dam at MidlandHanda@gmail.com or visit www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/520/Sister-City-Program.