Ten youth and two chaperones from Uiwang City, South Korea, along with nine North Little Rock families and their youth host delegates, participated in the 2013 North Little Rock Sister City Youth Homestay Program.

“The Uiwang City and North Little Rock youth have become as close as brothers and sisters in the short time they have been here,” said Margaret Powell, program director.

The program opened with a special meet-and-greet with Korean War veterans during a ceremony commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Cease Fire at the State Capitol. The week also included a private lunch with Mayor Joe Smith and First Lady Missie Smith, a tour of the State Capitol and photographs with the Governor and Mrs. Beebe and the Secretary of State.

The week wasn’t all formal, however. The students enjoyed Wild River Country, sampled a taste of favorite American favorite including pizza and French fries, took karate classes at karate for Kids and participated in a hip hop class at Studio One Dance. Wearing SWAT Team gear, participants watched the North Little Rock Police Department demonstrate the police robot, the canine team and SWAT Team activities.

“The youth made time on their last day for a Watering Ceremony at the Rose of Sharon Sister City Tree, outside the City Services Building,” Powell said. “It’s a tradition to ‘keep the friendship growing’ between our two cities.”

North Little Rock has a summer youth homestay program with our Sister City, Uiwang City, South Korea. Students who participate are between the ages of 14 and 18 and live in North Little Rock. Participants host a Korean student in their home for about 10 days one summer and the following year travel to Korea for a similar homestay summer program. For more information, contact Powell at 340-5305.