OAKLAND -- Four Oakland fifth-graders and their chaperone participated in the 26th annual Asian Pacific Children's Convention, which was held July 10-24 in Fukuoka, Japan.
The children were in a camp with hundreds of other student ambassadors from throughout the Asian Pacific region and the Oakland students stayed at the homes of Japanese families.
The Asian Pacific Children's Convention students were: Jazmin Moreno, Acorn Woodland Elementary; Michael Paltiel, Montclair Elementary; Dilbert Iraheta-Juarez, Acorn Woodland Elementary; and Alexandra Ortega, Korematsu Discovery Academy. LeRoy Gaines served as the chaperone.
The 44th annual high school exchange occurred from July 25 to Aug. 4. Six Fukuoka high school students and two chaperones visited Oakland. Daily activities included: English lessons; a history lesson regarding the art from the Japanese American internment; a meeting with Mayor Jean Quan; visits to UC Berkeley, Oakland Museum of California, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Pixar Animation Studios, an Oakland A's game as well as a dance exchange; and volunteering their origami and calligraphy skills at MOCHA (Museum of Children's Art).
The Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association held a summer picnic Aug. 3 at Lake Temescal. The association recognized six newly elected directors, welcomed back the Asian Pacific Children's Convention student ambassadors, said goodbye to the Fukuoka high school students and chaperones as well as thanked their respective host families.
-- Liane Scott, Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association