Topics: Administrative, Teachers College

September 19, 2008

Students from Okazaki Primary School in Japan visit Burris Laboratory School Sept. 11 as part of an exchange program. Students from Burris will travel to Japan early next year through the program.
Burris Laboratory School recently marked the 10th anniversary of its student exchange with a Japanese elementary school.

Twenty Japanese students in grades 5 and 6 accompanied their principal and two teachers to Burris from Okazaki Primary School, as part of a weeklong cultural exchange Sept. 6-12.

Visitors participated in a variety of events during their September visit. Students took field trips to meet the mayor of Muncie and visit Minnetrista Cultural Center and local farms. During one farm visit, the students learned about the production of soybeans, a major American export to Japan.

"The neatest event was all of our fourth and fifth-grade students visiting the Wilbur Wright birthplace in Henry County," said Sandy Murray, Burris instructor of intermediate education. "The students learned about Wilbur and Orville and the first flight in 1903. What is more American?"

The exchange program began in 1998 with a visit from the principal of Okazaki Primary School, a department of Aichi University. The principal had traveled to Ball State many times before and played an integral role in beginning the exchange.

Twenty Burris students will travel to Japan in February to complete the exchange. The students will soon begin language and Japanese cultural courses to prepare for their adventures.

By Hillary Tribbett