A common foundation on which to start a sister city relationship or strengthen a pre-existing one is by engaging local schools and students. The concept of “Sister Schools” connects youth through collaborative projects between classrooms, schools, or after-school programs. Students can participate in letter, video, or webcast exchange, leadership-building projects, fundraising campaigns, or tailored projects around mutual interests between student groups.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sister Schools
- How do Sister Schools work?
- What type of projects do Sister Schools do together?
- How much work is involved in a Sister Schools Partnership?
- What are the benefits of Sister Schools?
Sister Cities International provides members with the sister schools toolkit plus supplemental materials on how to start and maintain a Sister Schools program in their community. The local sister city program facilitates the pairing of schools within their sister city partnerships. Sister Schools interact by doing collaborative projects together, ranging from pen-pals to exchange visits. Sister Schools can take on different structures. The partnerships may be between individual classes, schools, extra-curricular clubs, or entire school districts.
Sister Cities International helps teachers get started by providing them with a Project Ideas packet. Project ideas are divided into grade level and time needed to complete them. Teachers are also encouraged to design their own project and curriculum for their Sister Schools. The possibilities are endless.
Teachers from both Sister Schools decide how much class time they will dedicate to their partnership, and choose projects that work with that schedule. Projects can range from very simple pen-pal exchanges to highly involved humanitarian projects between Sister Schools. Most projects can be modified to accommodate different ages and time constraints. Sister Schools can either be a small focus or a large focus for your school or class. It is up to you. Utilizing the dialogue worksheet below at the start of the partnership can help all parties gauge individual level of participation and time commitment while also communicating expectations and goals of the program.
Sister Schools brings another part of the world into the classroom. Students gain international awareness by learning from their international peers, and view the world from a new perspective. Project-based learning requires team work, teaches project management, and promotes cognitive and active participation in students. Students learn how to plan, conduct, and complete a project; all while creating bonds that surpass boundaries with their Sister School peers. In this age of globalization and technology, nations are becoming more interdependent and connected every day. International studies are an imperative focus for today's youth and their future success.
Sister Cities International provides the toolkits and supplemental resources listed below to member sister city organizations and their schools to start and sustain Sister Schools Programs. Members can find them under the Toolkits and Templates page of the Member Area of the website: www.sister-cities.org/toolkits-templates. Please note, members need to log in to access this part of the website.
Staff is also available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Sister Schools Toolkits:
- Toolkit for Sister City Programs
- Toolkit for Teachers/Schools
- Sister Schools Resolution Template
- Sister Schools Resources Packet
- Sister Schools Dialogue Worksheet
- Sister Schools Project Ideas Packet
- Tips for a Successful & Sustainable Sister Schools Program