Penobscot School Summer English Program seeks host families

Posted March 17, 2011, at 6:39 p.m.
Last modified March 18, 2011, at 1:44 a.m.

ROCKLAND — Penobscot School invites Rockland families to a 4-6 p.m. gathering Sunday, March 20, at Suzuki’s Sushi Bar on Main Street. The  event is a meet-and-greet for those interested in learning more about the possibility of hosting a foreign student this summer.

For more than 20 years, Penobscot School has offered three-week intensive English programs for foreign adults each summer. The  visiting students come from all walks of life — university students and professors, schoolteachers, doctors, businessmen, policemen and firefighters and other professionals — and are united by their desire to improve their English and to enter into community life. More than 500 people have come to Rockland to study English over the years, and all have been hosted by local families. Hosts are not paid, but open their homes in the spirit of citizen diplomacy.

This summer’s sessions are scheduled for July 2-23, July 30-Aug. 20 and Aug. 27-Sept. 17.  Students attend school 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. — with the exception of Wednesdays, when the evening is free, and weekends.

Hosts are as diverse as the students. They are single individuals, couples, young and old, with and without children at home, but all sharing an interest in broadening their perspective on the world.

Hosts give students an important opportunity to engage in English conversation, typically over breakfast in the mornings and after dinner in the evenings.

Student independence is greatly enhanced if their hosts live in Rockland so they are able to get to school and Rockland’s downtown attractions on foot.

The March 20 get-together is for people who live in Rockland who have a spare bedroom to offer a visiting student.

“There is no obligation,” said Joan LeMole, a member of the school’s hosting committee and a frequent host herself. “This is just a chance, in pleasant surroundings, to meet active hosts and learn more from them about the pleasures and the challenges of hosting.”

The meeting will be led by Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, owner and chef of Suzuki’s, who first came to Rockland 10 years ago as a summer English student at Penobscot School.

For information or to register, call Patti at Penobscot School at 594-1084.

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