By RUSSELL JONES
Editor’s note: School is back in session and many of our area schools have new programs or classes for students to engage with their fellow students and expand their horizons. Over the next several issues, we’ll spotlight some of these new programs, beginning this week with the International Club at Otter Valley Union High School.BRANDON — Even though Otter Valley High School only has one international student this year, they’ve formed a club to better integrate that student and other future foreign exchange students into the OV and Vermont culture.
“We have an international student from China and we wanted to get a club together for him to meet people and let people share information about their cultures,” Claudia Larrow, guidance counselor and club organizer said of the formation of the school’s International Club.
Larrow, with the help of the Spanish, French and Chinese language teachers, Molly Nitka, Barbara Sicot and Wei Qian, have started the club with the goal of helping students learn more about foreign cultures and share experiences with others.
“We want it to be like a social club,” said Larrow. “We’ll get together a couple of times a month and watch videos, cook different foods from around the world and do some fun activities.”
The club is planning at least one field trip to the International Festival in Burlington. Plenty of the OV students come from a diverse cultural background, according to Larrow, and they want them to have an outlet to meet new people, share stories and inspire them to travel to many of the places they learn about.
“This will help to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness,” Larrow said. “We hope to contribute to the overall feeling of comfort for the students among one another.”
The International Club is expected to meet for an hour after school, twice a month. The next meeting is on Sept. 25 at 2:45. There will be a wide variety of food at the meeting, as Larrow is bringing Brazilian brigadeiros, a traditional fudge-like dessert. There will also be Irish food, French treats and Chinese hotpot. Students who are interested can contact Larrow or any of the foreign language teachers.