Anne Hathaway Public School students are benefitting from a visiting group of Mexican students by learning about a new culture and making new friends.
Sixteen young students from the London School in Cuernavaca, Mexico are currently living with families in Stratford and attending classes at AHPS.
The program is facilitated by Red Leaf Student Programs in partnership with the Avon Maitland District School Board.
The students, aged 10-12 attend a private, bilingual school in their home country. They’ve made the trek here for their celebratory year-end trip and to immerse themselves in Canadian culture.
Student Mara Rios says there are differences between her school back home and Anne Hathaway such as “…they change their shoes to go to recess and they have hangers for their coats.” She is happy to improve her English and to have the opportunity to live with another family and in a different way.
The students connect with their host families in Stratford long before they arrive so they can connect with friends their own age who live here. It’s a modern day, digital pen-pal process. That buddy system is one of the benefits of the program. The parents of the Mexican families also connect with the parents of the host families to alleviate any concerns.
When the students aren’t in class at AHPS they are visiting iconic tourist destinations such as Niagara Falls, Skyzone Trampoline Park, Toronto and Blyth Creek Maple Syrup Farm.
Student Daniela Carmona says what she loves best about visiting here is getting to know and meet or create new friends. She’s also happy to learn with different teachers and in a different way.
Before the students leave on March 10th they will make a presentation about the culture of their homeland to the students and staff of Anne Hathaway PS.
Gabriela Parejo, the local coordinator for the Huron-Perth Red Leaf program says the London School has sent classes to Avon Maitland before. They have visited Huron Centennial Public School and Upper Thames Elementary School. Parejo says it is always a great success and she always receives positive feedback.