At a time when summit conferences, shifting international alliances and conflicts between nations dominate news headlines, international understanding is being built one person at a time in local schools through activities such as foreign exchange clubs.
One example: Horace Greeley High School’s Foreign Exchange Club, with the support of the Lions Club of Pound Ridge, has been running a student exchange program between Horace Greeley in Chappaqua and Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia. Now in its eighth year, the exchange offers four students from Horace Greeley the opportunity to explore Australia for six weeks, and four students from Carey to do the same in Chappaqua. This is a direct, reciprocal exchange, which means that participating students will live in each other’s houses while in the foreign country. The exchange has been sponsored by the Lions Club of Pound Ridge since its inception.
The Carey students, their high school hosts and other members of the exchange club, came to a recent Pound Ridge Lions Club meeting to share their gratitude and experiences. In addition, the students presented more than 50 pairs of used eyeglasses that they had collected by setting up donation boxes in all six Chappaqua Schools for the Lions Club’s Eyeglass Recycling Program. The students travel to Melbourne in early July.