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Educators, students from Taiwan will visit local schools

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Educators and students from the New Taipei City School District in Taiwan will visit school districts in Monmouth County this fall.

On Aug. 8, the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education approved a visit from 16 educators in the New Taipei City School District for Oct. 16-17. The educators will also visit the Freehold Regional High School District and the Howell K-8 School District.

“We are incredibly honored to have 16 educators from New Taipei City visit Howell,” Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola said. “We were fortunate to (previously) host an educational delegation from New Taipei City and found it to be a truly edifying and professionally enriching experience.

“During that visit, a great deal was shared regarding professional development practices, as well as the education of learners of English as a second language.

“We look forward to our second professional collaboration with educators from New Taipei City and are very excited about this opportunity to share, at an international level, best practices for instruction and professional learning,” Isola said.

According to Freehold Borough Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough and Freehold Regional have a formal memorandum of understanding with the New Taipei City School District for mutual cooperation, which has led to annual visits from New Taipei City educators.

In turn, Freehold Borough educators have visited the schools of the Taiwanese district.

“We believe such educational exchanges are valuable for our students, particularly in an increasingly global community,” Freehold Regional Superintendent of Schools Charles Sampson said.

“Over the past several years, we have been able to exchange educational perspectives, share insights and build cultural connections. We are excited to continue that spirit of mutual collaboration this year,” he said.

The theme of New Taipei City educators’ visit in 2016 was studying how English was taught to English language learners.

In addition to the upcoming visit from the educators, 40 junior high school students from New Taipei City are scheduled to visit Monmouth County schools on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, according to Tomazic.

The Taiwanese students will visit the Freehold Intermediate School in Freehold Borough, Howell Middle School North in Howell and the Cedar Drive Middle School in the Colts Neck K-8 School District.

Tomazic said each local school will welcome about 15 New Taipei City students. The guests will accompany the students during the school day, he said.

Freehold Borough students have previously worked with New Taipei City students, according to the superintendent.

Freehold Intermediate School students have worked with Ze Deng Junior High School students on Christmas card exchanges and Park Ave Elementary School pupils have worked with Tamsui Elementary pupils on presentations relating to the geographic and architectural features of their communities.

In addition to partnering with New Taipei City, Freehold Borough students have exchanged correspondence with middle school students in the Republic of Georgia.

“International education and a global perspective are important features of a modern education,” Tomazic said. “Our students and teachers benefit from meeting their peers from another country and from a different culture.

“This is not only to learn about them, but more importantly to understand how they see us. The personal connections that result from face-to-face contact are impactful and long lasting,” he said.

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