The Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) welcomed two Japanese delegates from Jiyu Gakuen, a prominent kindergarten through college private school located in the western suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, August 3 to 4.
Within its 25-acre campus, Jiyu Gakuen, founded in 1921 (with its original building complex designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), educates 900 boys and girls from ages 4 to 22. Koichi Sarashina, vice director of Jiyu Gakuen, and Kenta Harigaya, an English teacher, visited Newtown.
Members of the NICE team and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda met with the two educators during their visit with hope of collaborating on international opportunities in the future.
“This visit was a great opportunity to build a new partnership in Japan and bring new international opportunities to our students, educators, and community,” said Timothy DeJulio, who oversees program development for the NICE Executive Council. “Over the two days in Newtown we had the opportunity to welcome them, show them the community, to chat professionally, and share the American culture with them.”
The visit included a tour of New Haven, a traditional small town carnival, visiting the Aho and Shearin family farm, and brunch at Newtown Inn followed by a walking tour of Main Street.
While in the United States, Mr Sarashina and Mr Harigaya will also attend a conference in New York City organized by the Japan Society, the third annual Going Global: International Student Social Networking Project Conference for Educators. Mr DeJulio will also attend the conference as an Executive Council member of the NICE program. The conference is organized by the Japan Society and sponsored in part by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the Toshiba International Foundation.
The NICE program has an ongoing relationship with the Japan Society participating in the Japan Society Junior Fellows Program and has been selected for three years to send three students and one educator to represent the United States at the Ritsumeikan Uji International Student Forum.
The NICE program currently has sister school relationships in China, France, and Spain and is looking to expand its international programs into other countries. The NICE program is a national recognized, grant- and donation-funded program of the Newtown Public Schools.