English teachers from Colorado Springs’ Sister City Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, met with Mayor Bach as part of their trip to study and observe Colorado Springs schools, from elementary to the university level.
These young educators would like to establish a virtual classroom experience between schools in Kyrgyzstan and Colorado Springs, in addition to being “pen pals” via SKYPE.
“We’re proud to be a Sister City with you,” the Mayor said. Then he asked more about their schools, districts and relationships with nearby cities. They have four school districts in their capitol city of 800,000 people.
Colorado Springs and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan have been Sister Cities since 1994. This visit was funded by the Open World Leadership Center in Washington D.C. and the teachers stayed with Colorado Springs host families to experience our culture and daily life firsthand.
Mayor Bach offered gifts of pens for each with the words “America the Beautiful” and “Pikes Peak” inscribed. He received a gift from their country in return. Their goal is “to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and countries of Eurasia by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and its free-market system.”
When ask if they’d been shopping, the teachers grinned and said, “Most definitely!”
Sister Cities are formed to develop friendly and meaningful exchanges involving citizens and organizations in both communities engaging in projects of mutual interest. Colorado Springs has six Sister Cities: Bankstown, Australia; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Fujiyoshida, Japan; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico; Smolensk, Ukraine.