On Friday, October 26th, Study Manitoba School Divisions celebrated 10 years of welcoming international students to Southwestern Manitoba. An appreciation event for Homestay families and international students was held at the Souris and Glenwood Memorial Complex. Rhonda Simon, Director of International Education, welcomed everyone and introduced speakers and students to perform several musical numbers to entertain guests.
It was in 2008 that 5 school divisions: Beautiful Plains, Fort la Bosse, Rolling River, Southwest Horizon and Turtle Mountain, formed a consortium to create one program to bring students from around the world to Southwestern Manitoba. Since then, over 600 students from 20 countries have enrolled in the area. This year, there are currently 50 students studying across the 5 divisions.
The evening was in appreciation for the families who make a place for students in their homes and in their hearts while they are far away from their own families. Without these dedicated families, the program cannot succeed. Families who have hosted for 5 years or more were presented with an appreciation certificate and several families received recognition for 5, 6, 7 and 9 years with the program. Door prizes were drawn for as well as a gift certificate for Elkhorn Resort, which was sponsored by Guard.Me Insurance and won by Doug and Michelle Green from Douglas.
Anyone interested in becoming a part of the homestay network can contact Danette Lockhart at email@example.com.