Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

Elizabeth and Jon Renner

at theAristide Gabelli Elementary School in Belluno 

talking with the music teacher and the Principal.

Highland Elementary Music Teacher Visits Music Class in Belluno

When I learned that Bend’s Highland Elementary first grade teachers were planning a study of our community, I suggested they also learn about Belluno, our Italian sister city. Since my husband Dave and I were visiting Belluno in the fall, I volunteered to contact Marco Perale to find an elementary teacher who spoke English and was willing to be a sister school with Bend. He found Federica Decol Tana who welcomed our visit to her classroom.

Early in September the first grade students at Highland wrote and illustrated letters to the Belluno students. I carried the letters in my backpack and delivered them in person. Marco accompanied us to the school and introduced us to the principal, Dr. Fulvio De Bon, and to the English teacher, Federica. We were so excited to meet the children and see what they were learning about Bend. They sang us songs in English and asked questions.


The class became so excited about the letters as Marco, Dr. De Bon, Federica and I circulated around the room reading the letters to them.The Belluno visit was so much fun! Children are the same in Belluno and Bend..so full of life and excited to learn about others.

When we returned to Bend, I shared a slideshow of Belluno and movies of our school visit. Then we discussed what is the same and what is different about the two cities. We have so many elements that are similar! The students look forward to more communication and learning from their sister classmates in Belluno. 

Mark Capell, in our Italian sister city of Belluno, delivers 
Bend Books made by the students from First Grade Class' at Highland School to Marco Perale and Angelo Paganin.

Each class created a book about Bend to share with the kids in Belluno. Mrs. Eriksson's class made brochures on the ipads, Mrs. Gross' class made a coloring book, and Mrs. Fetrow's class made an ABC Poetry book (i.e. R is for Roundabouts. Roundabouts, roundabouts, you have to go slow. There's cool art in the middle, don't you know.).

The first graders then shared the poetry at the Noon meeting  of the Greater Bend Rotary Club.  Copies of the books will be sent to Belluno. Anyone traveling there soon?  YES - see below...

Linda Bilyeu visits first grade classroom at Aristide Gabelli Elementary School in Belluno.

The three first grade classes at Highland Elementary wrote letters and drew pictures for the kids in our sister city, Belluno. They learned all about Bend by walking downtown, visiting the High Desert Museum and Bend's Historical Museum, fishing, hiking, and biking at Shevlin Park, etc.

Highland First Graders

Classroom Exchange

with Belluno

First Graders in Mrs. Fetrow's class at Highland School 
"Bend & Belluno are like twins!"

Each class created a frieze of Bend in their classrooms.

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

Thanks to Mrs. Fetrow, Mrs Gross and Mrs. Eriksson for introducing your students to the wonderful world of international friendships and Bend-La Pine Schools for supporting the sister city effort.

Linda Bilyeu, Representative of Highland Elementary School, Visits Belluno Classroom