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A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 1 5

Tacoma, Washington-Fuzhou, China

In September 2015, President Xi Jinping visited the U.S.,

making his first stop Tacoma, Washington. What most

people do not know is that 21 years ago, President Xi

personally witnessed the establishment of Tacoma’s sister

city relationship with Fuzhou while he was the Chairman

of the Standing Committee of Fuzhou Municipal People’s

Congress. During his time in Tacoma, he visited Lincoln

High School bearing gifts of books and Ping-Pong

accessories and invited 100 students to visit China in

2016. He noted the importance of travel and international

affairs education for young people, and said “you will know

China better, and hopefully you will fall in love with China.”

Scottsdale, Arizona-Marrakech, Morocco

In December 2015, eight students and three teachers

from Marrakech, Morocco took part in service and cultural

learning during a visit to their sister city, Scottsdale,

Arizona. The delegation volunteered to sort and pack

food at the Vista del Camino Community Center, where

students and teachers had an opportunity to practice

reading and speaking English. In addition to their service

project, students shadowed their host siblings and

attended high school classes. On other days, the students

visited Coronado, Arcadia, and Chaparral high schools

meeting other students and sharing information about their

city, schools, and culture.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina-Freeport,

Grand Bahamas-Ungheni, Moldova

Ever since chess was invented around 1,500 years ago,

players from around the world have sat across the board

from each other to compete on an equal playing field,

regardless of age, gender, and language. Fast forward

now to the year 2015, and students in three cities around

the world are

now using

technology to

play their global

sister cities


In conjunction

with Winston

Salem Sister

Cities, players

from the schools

are view ing

and submitting their moves in a modern version of online

“correspondence” chess. The online chess play happens

over the course of days (even months), with each player

having three days to make a move. Winston-Salem

students play with their sister city counterparts in Freeport,

Grand Bahamas and Ungheni, Moldova.

Sonoma, California-Tokaj, Hungary

The Sonoma Sister Cities Association hosts a winemaker

student exchange program that connects Sonoma-

based young winemakers with internship opportunities

in Sonoma, California’s Hungarian sister city, Tokaj,

and opportunities for Tokaj-based young winemakers

to come to Sonoma for internships. Tokaj is one of the

most historical winemaking regions in the world, and

produces one of the most notable sweet wines. Sonoma’s

Buena Vista Winery has Hungarian heritage and hosted

a Hungarian student intern in 2015. During his exchange,

they experimented with Tokaj grapes on the property.