Out of an abundance of caution and in line with our guiding principle of Safety First in all we do, the MCOW Board of Directors has decided to call off the 2020-2021 exchange. A few days ago, the James Hargest College Board of Trustees canceled the trip for the New Zealand students and adults scheduled to arrive in September 2020. The MCOW Board voted this week to not have a group of Student Ambassadors, Teacher Leaders, and Parent Chaperones travel to New Zealand in February 2021.
For 31 continuous years, we have taken students to New Zealand each February. This decision was not made lightly and is the result of a great deal of careful consideration given its significance in the history of the MCOW program. While frustrating and difficult, the Board believes canceling the February 2021 trip is the best course of action given the circumstances. Since its inception in 1989, the program has changed lives because of the connections made and the discoveries encountered around every corner. Sending our Student Ambassadors on this Kiwi adventure has become a familiar and safe experience for us, and it will be again in 2021-2022.
We find ourselves in the midst of a very unusual time, given the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having around the world. For most of us, life has changed in profound ways. Right now the only thing that seems certain is uncertainty. The simple fact is we don’t know what to expect or how this will continue to impact our daily lives in the coming days, weeks or even months.
While this message is somber, the MCOW Board of Directors is committed to make the most of this unique year and we invite you to join us.
Was your student planning to be an Ambassador or planning to host a Kiwi? CLICK HERE to let us know so we can consider fun, new ways of connecting these students during the next few months. (Note that the Board will discuss the potential to allow eighth grade students to participate in the February 2022 trip.)
Are you interested in helping with the annual Meeker Holiday Bazaar in November? CLICK HERE to let us know that we can add you and/or your student to the list of volunteers for the Holiday Bazaar team.
Do you love attending the MCOW Gala Dinner & Auction? While we won't have a traditional auction event this year, we are considering how to bring together our amazing MCOW Community in a gratitude event. CLICK HERE if you want to help us create an unforgettable evening in celebration of the MCOW program.
While we have decided to forego the exchange trip for one year, we fully intend to make our 2020-2021 program year count. We plan to make this year central to the core foundation of this program -- connections with other people.
Let's stay connected. Let's stay safe. Let's make the most of the year ahead and work together to keep the MCOW program strong and vibrant for all the years to come.
Allison, Amy, Annette, Charles, Liz, Louann, and Stephan
MCOW Board of Directors
Perhaps New Zealand!!
A MESSAGE TO PARENTS ABOUT THE MEEKER NEW ZEALAND STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Hello Parents. It seems the current TPS school closure has impacted almost everything happening in our community. We want and hope that everybody will be safe and stay healthy.
Several weeks ago your sixth grade student may have brought home a flyer about the MEEKER NEW ZEALAND STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM, which has been part of our community for 31 years. Each year in March and April, we kick-off this program with our annual INFORMATIONAL MEETING. On the flyer, it showed the meeting would take place on Monday, March 23. We have changed the meeting to MONDAY, MAY 18, 2020.
This 2-month delay was made in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and the response to this public health emergency. The MCOW Board of Directors has been working to revise many portions of our program timeline. We've taken a hard look and made numerous adjustments so that we can move forward in a way that makes sense in the current environment. We know its not a time for "business as usual" but rather a time that demands flexibility and "Plan B" thinking with a Safety First mindset. With recent revisions, we are ready to move forward with another fantastic year (our 32nd) of this incredible program. We invite you to learn more and consider joining us.
ARE YOU READY TO LEARN MORE? We encourage you to complete this simple form to get direct updates from us once we release further details about the Informational Meeting >> https://www.meekernz.org/2020-2021-form.html
ARE YOU WONDERING WHAT THE TRIP IS LIKE? We invite you to explore the adventures taken by former Ambassadors and learn more about the trip >>
ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK? You may want to scroll through or "Like" some of the recent posts on our Facebook page from our Ambassadors' trip to New Zealand in February 2020 >> https://www.facebook.com/MeekerCitizensoftheWorld
DO YOU WANT TO GET UPDATES? You can bookmark our blog and check back for updates as often as you’d like >> https://www.meekernz.org/mcow-blog--updatesc
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? Click on the "Contact Us" page on our website and send us your question. If you've got questions, we've got answers.
We are incredibly grateful to be part of this community. We know it is special because of the people who live here. Thanks for making a difference in all you do at Meeker Middle School and throughout the Northeast Tacoma Community.
Board of Directors
Meeker Citizens of the World Student Exchange Program
Tacoma, Washington USA
Website | www.meekernz.org
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🇺🇸 🇳🇿 Celebrating 32 Years! 1989 - 2021 🇳🇿 🇺🇸
To our current and future friends, families, and alums:
This week Governor Jay Inslee ordered the closure of all K-12 schools in Washington State between March 16 and at least April 27. We understand the need to safeguard the health and safety of our teachers, students, families, and community. We support the steps being taken and the various initiatives being implemented to respond to this public health emergency. Nothing is more important than SAFETY FIRST, which is the highest priority of every MCOW activity.
The school closure will have a direct impact on MCOW in several ways.
During this time, we strongly encourage you to follow recommendations from the CDC (cdc.gov), the Washington State Department of Health (doh.wa.gov), and other public health authorities. LET’S ALL DO OUR PART, STAY SAFE, AND KEEP WELL!
MCOW President on behalf of the MCOW Board of Directors
Thank you, James Hargest community for everything you've done for us over the past few weeks. If we’ve learned anything about the town of Invercargill, it's that it is a city built on people, on connections, and on community. We've laughed together, shared meals together, and made memories that will last a lifetime. We’re so grateful for all those we’ve met here and for this amazingly transformative experience.
A huge thank you to Katrina & Mel for their leadership. A huge thank you to each and every host family who gave us a taste of NZ life for the last month; we’ve been so grateful for your time, effort and connections! And a huge thank you to our families & friends at home who worked hard to make this trip possible.
Our students wrapped up their last day with time spent at James Hargest today. And, the teachers & chaperones met individually with the 15 students & 6 adults coming to Tacoma in September 2020. As we assimilate back to home & Meeker, a new year for MCOW will begin and the COTW team will ramp up their preparation. It is all about connections and it truly takes a village of many talents to make this program continue into its 32nd year.
Thank you! Until we meet again friends! 🇳🇿
Chloé, Daneen, Liz & Pam
Audra, Ava, Ray, Lavinia, Ashley, Aspen, Owen, Ben, Julia, and Ryder