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The Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation promotes goodwill and understanding between cities through, among other programs, its teacher scholarship program. Each year, area teachers are chosen to spend a week in Hanamaki. They share their rich cultural and educational experiences and lessons learned with their students upon their return.
The City of Hot Springs partners with the Sister City Foundation to strengthen its ties with Hanamaki through continuous student and citizen exchanges. In 2003, the Hot Springs Board of Directors approved a part-time position to help further the progress made in the first 10 years. In January of 2012 the funding of the coordinator position was assumed through a partnership with Visit Hot Springs as part of the duties of the International Visitors Liaison. The Sister City Program Coordinator's activities include coordinating all communications between Hanamaki and Hot Springs; overseeing delegation visits and other special events, promoting the program to schools and civic clubs; and publishing and distributing the quarterly Sister City Journal, now available online at www.cityhs.net/docs.htm. Recent activities such as art, music and dance exhibitions, needlepoint and dollmaking classes, cooking demonstrations, language classes and a Japanese tea ceremony have brought the program to a level where many Hot Springs citizens can participate more fully in the program. The city’s Web site contains a Japanese page which offers basic information on Hot Springs and encourages visitors to consider a trip to its sister city. Hanamaki’s Web site can be reached at http://www.hanamakicity.com/