CGS Celebrates 20 Years of Japan Exchange Program

CGS Celebrates 20 Years of Japanese Exchange Program
Posted on 03/25/2014
CGS and Kojo Students Sing Together

Smiles and songs marked a celebration held yesterday to commemorate 20 years of international exchange between the Center for Global Studies (CGS) at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk and Kojo High School, Japan.


Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, NPS Superintendent Dr. Manuel Rivera and Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona joined with administrators, teachers and students in welcoming Mr. Takahisa Yamada, Principal of Kojo High School, Kojo Japan. Roz McCarthy, director of the Center for Global Studies, served as master of ceremonies for the event.    


Mr. Yamada made a special trip to Norwalk to honor the anniversary of this long-standing relationship, and to present several gifts to the community.


Attendees included CGS students of Japanese, the 30 students from Kojo who are now visiting and living with host families, as well as Japanese teachers, parents, and current and former principals of CGS & BMHS. 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.


Located within Brien McMahon High School, the Center for Global Studies is an inter-district, international studies magnet school 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.  A similar number of Kojo students visited Norwalk, living with CGS families, attending Brien McMahon High School, and experiencing American culture.