School 78 Vladivostok

In 1956 President Eisenhower established the Sister Cities program.  The program was established with the intent of enabling cities in the United States to establish relations at the city level with cities in other countries.  The purpose of this initiative is to allow private citizens to establish strong relations with the local citizens of other countries in ways that went beyond what the governments of countries could do.

In 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, San Diego established a sister city relationship with Vladivostok.  Vladivostok is Russia's most important port on the eastern Pacific coast of Russia and is a natural fit to establish a relationship with San Diego.  The mayors of both cities signed a document formally recognizing both cities as "Sister Cities."

In 2008, a group of school principals from Vladivostok came to San Diego for an educational conference as part of the federal government's OPEN WORLD Program.  They met Mr. Hernandez, principal at Perkins.  Mr. Hernandez and Ms. Tatiana Kuleshova, principal of School 78 agreed to establish a relationship between the two schools. 

This relationship began in 2010.  The first group of students from School 78 came to the USA in October 2010 for the very first time.  The group of ten students spent two weeks attending our school, eating new foods, and most importantly making new friends. 

During the first day at Perkins their was extreme shyness on both sides.  The students from Russia were very shy about speaking English.  There was a fear of making a mistake.  The students from San Diego had been learning Russian.  Mr. Hernandez speaks Russian and teaches it after school to a group of students.  These students were also very shy about speaking Russian and making mistakes.  So we created the perfect ice breaker.  The staff at Perkins went to the local supermarket and bought seventeen types of potato chips and similar snacks.  We places samples of each type of snack at each round table in the staff room.  We assigned one student from Russia to each table with three students from Perkins.  As they were seated everyone introduced themselves.  Then the fun began, everyone took turns trying one sample and describing the taste.  When they tried the "Mexican" flavored snacks things became very interesting.  Our guests from Russia had never tasted anything like that.  Some immediately asked for water.  This is when the fun began and the students began talking.  This was a very fun activity for everyone involved.  Once the students began speaking they never stopped.  It was a beautiful start to a very strong relation with School 78.  We had many more activities such as this. 

This relationship with School 78 in Russia has been supported by 100% of our parents at Perkins.  We have received delegations from Russia in even years such as 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and Perkins had taken groups of students to Russia in odd years.  This experience has had a profound positive impact on all participants.  Unfortunately, this relationship with School 78 is currently on hold.  We had to pause our trips due to the pandemic, and to current events.  We hope to recommence this amazing relationship in the near future. 

I must emphasize that the purpose of these exchanges are to build relationships and to foster mutual understanding.

 

Below is a message that was sent to the families in Russia of the students that came to visit us.  This is a description of the first day of the visit.  For all of these students from School 78 it was their first time coming to the USA. 

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Dear families from Vladivostok,

On October 2nd a little bit after midnight the delegation from School 78 finally arrived on the last flight from San Francisco. The host families were awaiting with anticipation the arrival of their guests with flowers, balloons, and posters welcoming them to San Diego. The meeting was excellent. Everything went well. The temperature was 72 degrees at midnight. Everyone went home to rest and relax and get ready for school the next morning.

October 2nd was a hot day. Students from Perkins had placed welcoming posters all around the school. The posters were written in both English and Russian. The staff had prepared a special breakfast at school for the students. At about 9:30 am we began the tour of the school. Perkins students were very eager to meet our special guests from Vlapostok. As we walked from room to room we observed lessons in action and our Vlapostok guests immediately began to use their English. We were immediately impressed with the fantastic English level that Igor possesses. His knowledge of English is very high and this is a testament to his excellent teachers in Vlapostok. Sasha S was translating everything into Russian correctly. He has been very attentive and has an excellent sense of humor. Ilya was a little worried that his English level was not that good and that he wouldn't be able to communicate but I believe that he spoke more English than anyone else on this day. It was very pleasant to Masha return to San Diego. We see the growth in her language ability from last year to this year. She has made so much progress. Sasha M has also been an excellent student. His English pronunciation is better than ever. Like Masha he was also immediately recognized by the Perkins School Community. Julia has been speaking a lot with the members of her host family. This is the type of conversation that we encourage among all students. Polina had a very special day today. It was her birthday. She woke up to a rendition of a Mexican birthday song "Las Mañanitas" sung by her host family. At school there was another surprise waiting for her. The students had prepared a "piñata" full of candy. The piñata is a part of a Mexican celebration tradition that has now become part of American culture in the American Southwest. The younger students were the ones who showed Polina how to hit the piñata. Polina finally got her turn and she sent a lot of candy flying. Julia had her turn and finally Ilya destroyed it sending all the children scrambling to get as much candy as possible. Ms. Del Toro brought a wonderful birthday cake for Polina and we sang happy birthday. The students then went home to spend their first evening with their families. The temperature was 95 degrees at 12 noon but the students from Vlapostok never once complained about the weather.

Friday evening (San Diego time) there will be more details and pictures posted on this site.
Thank you parents from Vlapostok. Your children have brought us so much richness to our school community and we are much better off because of this. We thank you greatly.
Mr. Hernandez---Principal

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