I am writing in response to the article that appeared in Sunday’s Frederick News-Post regarding cultural diversity in our schools. In this article Elizabeth Chung, executive director of the Asian-American Center, suggested that there be a program to bring students from other countries to our schools to increase awareness of different cultures.
I am happy to inform her (and everyone else) that such a program exists right here and right now! Rotary International has a high school exchange program whereby students travel to another country, attend the local school, reside with host families and exchange cultures with their peers. This academic year, a boy from India is enrolled in Frederick High School, and a boy from Thailand is enrolled in Urbana High School.
This wonderful program has been in existence for many years and has brought greater understanding, and, thereby, steps toward a more peaceful world in thousands of communities throughout the world.
Students who are interested in studying abroad through the Rotary program can go to Rotary.org, click on “programs,” then select “Student Exchange.” There are both yearlong and short-term exchanges. An application form is available on line and should be submitted to a local Rotary Club for processing.
Let’s use this existing program to achieve greater understanding of different cultures.
Barr is inbound chairperson of the Rotary District 7620 Youth Exchange Program and a member of the Southern Frederick County Rotary Club.