TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Tuscaloosa City Schools students shared their experiences from the Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International partnership at the board of education meeting on Tuesday night.
TSCI Director Lisa Keyes and Paul W. Bryant High School Librarian and teacher chaperone Shelly Dorrill thanked board members for their financial support of the program. Student delegates Hannah Irby, Zoe Jones, Sarah Guo, Arushi Kotru, Katie Ray and Wil Charles were among the 21 students who traveled to Schorndorf, Germany last month for a two-week exchange.
"I realized this is the best learning opportunity I have ever been given," Ray said. "It was an amazing experience I will cherish the rest of my life."
German students will visit Tuscaloosa Oct. 14-28 to stay with their TCS host families. The students are set to visit all Tuscaloosa City high schools.
"I fully believe in the transformational power of exchange," Dorrill said. "We really need to understand each other. We can't understand each other until sometimes you're the foreigner. They (TCS students) came back more compassionate, more open minded, more willing to lend a hand."
The Tuscaloosa Sister Cities, which is in its 31st year, began with Narashino, Japan. Sunyani-Techiman Ghana is the newest among the four-city partnership.
The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or age in its programs and activities, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.