PHOTOS: Alcott School Hosts Guests From Concord's Sister City

A delegation of student and adult visitors from Nanae, Japan, Concord's sister city, dropped by Alcott Elementary School on Wednesday, Oct. 10 for an assembly featuring an exchange of songs and gifts.

The following information about the Alcott/Nanae, sister-school exchange from 1999 to October 2012 was provided by Lynne Kwarcinski, music specialist at the Alcott School.

Nanae, Concord's sister city in Japan, has been sending an annual delegation of town officials, citizens and students to Concord every October since 1993.

In 1999, Alcott and the Fujishiro Elementary School exchanged gifts, developed a web site and exchanged e-mails.

In the fall of 2004, Lynne Kwarcinski, music specialist at the Alcott School, taught the entire student body to sing the Japanese traditional favorite song, "Sakura.” The children performed for visitors from our sister school in Nanae, Japan.  This sharing provided a fine opportunity for children to learn about the Japanese culture.

In January 2012, Tom Curtin, retired CCHS teacher and liaison between Concord and Nanae, Concord's sister city, suggested another collaboration between the Alcott School and the elementary schools in Nanae, Hokkaido, Japan.

All students in Grades Kindergarten through Grade 5, under the direction of Music Specialist, Lynne Kwarcinski, spent a month learning a new vocal part (with body percussion) to the song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." They also learned intricate steps to the Japanese "Squid Dance." Once these were perfected, the children's performance was videotaped at an All-School assembly. A DVD was created and sent to Nanae for the Japanese students to view, as part of a cultural exchange.

A Concordian working in the Nanae schools taught his Japanese students "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and videotaped it for the Alcott students to see. This provided a great opportunity for new learning.

Concord citizens and Concord-Carlisle High School students and families look forward to their annual opportunity to do the "Ika" or "Squid Dance" with the visiting delegation.  The dance is done by 10,000 dancers in the annual Port Festival parade in Hakodate, Nanae's neighboring city. 

Since school started this September, Lynne Kwarcinski, music specialist at Alcott, taught all the students a “Welcome Song” as well as the Japanese song, “Sakura.”

On Oct.10, Sharon Young, principal of the Alcott School, lead an all-school gathering with a group of students and educators from Japan. The Alcott children sang their two songs while the Japanese children presented songs as well.


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