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Sister Cities continues good work

We have used this space before to praise the Suffolk Sister Cities International group for the work it does, and we’re inspired to do so again with the recent 31st Annual Young Artists Showcase that is currently on display at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

An awards ceremony was held Jan. 17 to honor the students who created notable poetry, essays, drawings, paintings, mixed-media, photographs and more. The top three in each category were honored, as were a Sister Cities Choice and Best in Show. The top award went to Mason Lanier of Nansemond River High School.

The students were submitting work based on the theme “Global Citizens: Resilient Communities.” Each submission highlighted resiliency, citizen diplomacy and creating peace through people-to-people interaction.

The Suffolk Sister Cities International Group does a variety of programs to maintain positive relationships with its two sister cities — Suffolk County, England, and Oderzo, Italy. Members conduct youth and adult exchange programs that involve citizens from the different localities visiting each other in various years.

Many of the organization’s programs, however, don’t involve anyone leaving home but nevertheless help foster a sense of global citizenship and goodwill among our own citizens.

Such is the case with the annual Young Artists Showcase. Nearly 200 middle and high school students participated this year, and we think the artwork offered this year is superb. We urge everyone to go see it at the SCCA from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through Jan. 30.

Sister Cities International was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to promote respect, understanding and cooperation worldwide. The nonprofit network currently unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in nearly 570 member communities, with more than 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries in six continents.

We’re pleased to see the program working so beautifully here in Suffolk, and all the volunteers who work with Sister Cities deserve a worldwide round of applause.