This is my fourth year in our Middle School. When I learned about our 8th grade international trips to the country of their beginning language during my first year, I was so fascinated.
The next year, I contacted the school where I worked for eight years before I moved to the U.S. to tell them about this program. The GreenHouse school from Temuco, Chile, was very interested in the program and they became a sister school for FAIS. For two years in a row in May, we visited GreenHouse school and our students had a wonderful experience there. Last year, I convinced the school to bring students to FAIS, and earlier this month marked the first time we have hosted students from a Spanish speaking country -- for two whole weeks!
The group consisted of two teachers and 15 students (11 girls and 4 boys). They had four field trips, including: Evergreen Museum, OMSI, Downtown Portland, and the Nike store. They also immersed themselves in our school, joining in an active role in 8th grade classes, including: math, science, P.E., Spanish, English, design, music, and art. They made friendships with our students, and they had a wonderful experience with their host families from FAIS. I'm also happy to share a note from Steven Hoit, English Department Coordinator at Greenhouse School:
"Hola Gloria! The kids have described their experience as exceptional and that they had a super wonderful time. The teachers, their classmates, the host families, and you with Emmanuelle have made their stay an enriching and fruitful one. They are just full of gratitude and so are we for all the organization and work put into making everything work. The management staff are also full of gratitude and are just so proud not only of our students but also proud of this wonderful relationship between Gilkey and Greenhouse. Thank you so much!"
-By Gloria Widdows, FAIS Middle School Teacher