By Ashley Lodato

Lots of housekeeping information for this week. First, Sally at the Winthrop Library would greatly appreciate donations of new or gently used toys and stuffed animals that she can give away as prizes for the summer reading program. Just drop your donations at the library.

Also needed are host families for two Chinese exchange students who would like to attend Liberty Bell High School for a semester or a year starting in the fall. For the past five years, the Liberty Bell Chinese program has exchanged students with a high school in Beijing. So far eight juniors from Liberty Bell and seven students from China have been able to make use of this enriching opportunity.

When the Liberty Bell students participate in their term or school year in China — such as rising juniors Sage Borgias and Ava Mott will do this coming fall — they are put up in dorms at the Beijing Royal School (BRS), a private K-12 boarding school north of Beijing with an accredited curriculum. Our end of the exchange is to locate volunteer host families willing to take in students from the BRS.

Pam Vieth and Mary McFaul hosted student Han Meijuan through the 2016-2017 school year. Mary says, “For New Year and Han’s birthday I learned to cook a few Chinese comfort foods to make her feel at home. After my first sad attempt to wrap wontons, we set up an assembly line and Han and my daughter [Liberty Bell student Kristy Vieth] whipped out a few dozen in no time.”

Mary says that Han, who lives in Beijing, was astonished by the Methow Valley’s night sky. Han also told Mary that the best part of her trip was being in the forest. “I couldn’t agree more,” says Mary. “It was very satisfying to share our beautiful valley with Han.”

Currently, the two students for whom Chinese teacher Eveline Wathen is trying to find homes are Ruoyo, a 16-year-old girl who enjoys movies, music, swimming, badminton, hiking and camping. Ruoyo would like to try horseback riding during her Methow Valley exchange year. Yifan, a 16-year-old boy, likes baseball, ping pong, chess, philosophical discussions and museums (the Shafer is going to blow his mind, eh?!). Yifan is interested in trying soccer while in the United States.

If your family is interested in hosting Ruoyo or Yifan, please contact Eveline at ewathen@methow.org or (509) 996-3629.

PREVIOUSLY, IN WINTHROP

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