Letters to the Editor

Host a student, foster peace

As a new representative for Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.), I began receiving copies of the wonderful letters from students aged 15 to 16 all over the world who wish to spend a school year in the U.S. with a host family. I am astonished at not only their fine efforts at English, but their incredible warmth and enthusiasm about coming to our country to get to know a family, go to school here and learn about our culture while sharing their own. These are remarkable, outgoing young people. They come from caring families, are very bright, have many skills and interests, and nearly every letter mentions in some way how much they would love becoming part of an American family — possibly yours?

Ideal host families are loving and supportive, treating the student as part of the family, not as guests, with his/her own bed in a room (possibly shared with one of your own children over age 10) and providing three meals a day. The students bring their own spending money and have medical insurance. What a fun, marvelous way for people to learn to understand each other’s cultures, something our world desperately needs if we are ever to create peaceful coexistence. The P.I.E. program offers us all hope and the promise of a better future.

I can’t imagine a more wonderful place to come than Whidbey Island, with its abundant natural wonders and close proximity to Seattle. To learn more about becoming a host family, contact Shelli at 1-866-360-0598 or email her at shelli@pieusa.org. She is currently placing students for the 2011-12 school year. I hope she’ll hear from you!

Terry Ann Gallagher
Oak Harbor



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