NORWALK, Conn. -- The Center for Global Studies commemorated 20 years in a March celebration at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk and Kojo High School in Japan.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Schools Superintendent Manuel Rivera and Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona joined with administrators, teachers and students in welcoming Takahisa Yamada, principal of Kojo High School of Kojo, Japan. Roz McCarthy, director of the Center for Global Studies, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Yamada made the trip to Norwalk to "honor the anniversary of this long-standing relationship, and to present several gifts to the community," representatives said.
Among those attending the celebration were Center for Global Studies students of Japanese, the 30 students from Kojo who are visiting and living with host families, as well as Japanese teachers, parents, and current and former directors of the center and principals of Brien McMahon High, representatives said. The event included a video highlighting photos from the past 20 years, and two songs by the students, a rendition of “Happy” in English by the visiting Japanese students, and one in Japanese with a combined chorus of Norwalk and Kojo students.
The Center for Global Studies is an inter-district, international studies magnet school at Brien McMahon that focuses on Arabic, Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture.
"Over the past two decades, more than 500 American students have spent two-weeks living with Kojo families, attending school and experiencing Japanese culture," representatives said. "A similar number of Kojo students visited Norwalk, living with CGS families, attending Brien McMahon High School, and experiencing American culture."