The nine eighth-graders will visit Memuro, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, May 5 through 13, reported Bob Elliott, president of the Tracy Sister City Association.
In Memuro, the students — five girls and four boys — will stay with local families and visit schools, factories, farms and points of interest.
Students selected after interviews to take part in the visit to Japan are Brianna Pekari, Katie Low, Natalie Pearlman and Aditya Gupta, all of Williams Middle School; Alfonso Gonzalez and Aspen Alves, both of Jefferson School; Lauren J. White and Beau Mantor, both of Freiler Elementary School; and Giacomo Oliveri of Discovery Charter School.
Accompanying them to Japan as chaperones will be Debbie Elliott and Edelmira Escoto, both members of the Tracy Sister City Association board.
Before leaving for Japan, the students will take part in a series of classes to learn about Japanese culture, customs and language. Conducting the classes will be Cyndi Sandford, Escoto, Hiroe Vogt and Mark Landon.
A group of students from Memuro will launch this year’s youth exchange by visiting Tracy from March 26 to 31. Upon their arrival, they will be welcomed at the Lolly Hansen Senior Center, 375 E. Ninth St. A sayonara party is planned for March 30 at Tracy Community Center, at East and 10th streets, Elliott said.