DECATUR —Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, was a hit with Garfield Montessori Magnet School students during a presentation of Japanese culture and traditions by Sister Cities members.
The 31 members of Caryn Fuiten’s Room 5, first, second and third graders, folded Herald & Review newspapers into hats with instructions from Linda Hasenmyer, who lived in Japan for seven years.
The students are studying the Asian continent this month with a focus on Japan. “I learned a lot,” said Shaelyn Page, a second-grader, and Trinity Ingram, a first-grader.
In addition to origami, there was a hands-on chopsticks opportunity led by Kathy Sorensen and an opportunity to try on Japanese kimonos and wooden shoes led by Maki Ostrander, who was born in Tokyo and has lived in the United States for 24 years.
Sorensen, who was Sister Cities committee chairman for eight years, told the students that when they enter high school, there’s an opportunity to visit Tokorazawa, Japan, Decatur’s Sister City for 47 years.
Hasenmyer, the new Sister Cities committee chairman, gave the students a few Japanese words to pronounce and pointed out that the Japanese celebrate Children’s Day on May 5. She also read a book in Japanese.
Each student was given a souvenir paper with his/her name written in Japanese.
Concluding the learning project was a lunch of sushi, rice and miso soup.|(217) 421-7981
Updates, Bob Fallstrom, Decatur, Sister Cities, Garfield Montessori Magnet School, Tokorazawa, Japan

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