King School Grade 8 students met with peers from The Greenwich Japanese School this month as part of their Cultural Exchange Program. Now in its ninth year, the exchange provided a valuable opportunity for students to examine similarities and differences between the two communities.
This year’s first exchange occurred at King on Wednesday, January 11. The guests, students, and faculty from the Japanese school were greeted in the middle school lobby before being escorted to History teacher and Grade 8 Team Leader Ken Lewis’ classroom. There, King students delivered presentations about their culture as it relates to fashion, holidays, and sports.
Following the presentation, the guests had a tour of King’s campus, sat in on classes, and honed their ball skills during a basketball game in the Upper School gym. During the closing ceremony, students from both schools acknowledged how much they enjoyed the day and were excited to continue getting to know each other when King students visited the Japanese School.
“The students had an unforgettable experience with their new Japanese friends,” said Lewis. “It was a wonderful exchange of cultures, full of fun, laughs, and learning. Our students represented King wonderfully and will have many great memories of their visit.”
A week later, the exchange continued as King students traveled to the Greenwich Japanese School for an immersive experience in Japanese culture. After a game to break the ice, students toured the school, learned how to write “King” in traditional Japanese calligraphy, made origami storks, played Japanese games, and participated in a dodgeball match. The morning concluded with a dance presentation by the school’s Grade 8 class and finished with a closing ceremony.
“My favorite part was when we got to do calligraphy and kendama at their school,” said Siena Gambino ’27. “Even though we couldn't speak each other's language, we still had fun and got to know each other.”