Soddy Daisy Family Hosts Exchange Student From China

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Kobet family from Soddy Daisy had never thought about hosting an exchange student until the 4th of July when they received a call from STS foundation local coordinator, Mika McCoy. Their son, Jack, is in the marching band at Soddy Daisy High School, and they were matched with “Tom” from China who has been playing trombone for 6 years. Because of his history with the trombone, he was suggested to the Kobets.   Now both of the Kobet “boys” are gearing up to play in Soddy Daisy’s marching band this year. Tom arrived in Chattanooga on Friday, the 19th, and on Monday he was on the field in band camp.

Tom is from Wuxi, China, one of Chattanooga’s Sister Cities.  Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy.  Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.  Sister Cities International creates relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges, creating lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.”

Jackie, his host mom, says it’s been “an exciting few days.”  Tom missed the first week of preparation for the band, so he had some catching up to do.  Jackie said, “it was difficult trying to overcome the language barrier.”  However, yesterday (Tuesday) was a much better day:  Tom was able to get some one-on-one tutoring from a former band student on the basics of marching---how to hold the instrument, how to place feet, etc.  Now, Jackie says the  band teacher  said “he looks better than some of the students who have been there for awhile.”

Tom’s English is very good, according to  Jackie, and he’s enjoying trying new foods.  He wants to cook  some of his homeland’s traditional foods for his host family soon.

 STS Foundation is currently seeking families like the Kobets, who will open their home to an international teenager.  Host families are asked to provide room and board – including 3 meals per day, reasonable transportation and a loving/nurturing environment for the students.  Students come with their own health insurance and  monies for clothing, incidentals, entertainment and travel. 

STS Foundation (Student, Travel, Study) is a not-for-profit organization that places international high-school-age students with host families.  For more information about how to become a host family, call the regional office at 866/425-4678.


Cleveland State Host 8th Annual Multicultural Fair

Cleveland State Community College hosted its eighth annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday. The fair, designed to celebrate the different cultures, featured a colorful parade of nations, international studies information, booths featuring different nationalities, and culturally based entertainment, including the St. Therese Spanish Youth Dancers, Mawre and Company African Dance ... (click for more)

Baylor Community Service Group Leaves For Jamaica

Ten service-minded Baylor students left this week to travel to Jamaica over spring break, where they will work in the squatter community of Ferry, an orphanage in Kingston, the Home for the Aged, and primary schools in Kingston.  This year’s group includes James Atkins, Natalie Becker, Erin Blalock, Kathryn Cash, Caroline Combs, Natalie Javadi, Ansley McWilliams, Kate Probasco, ... (click for more)

Hard Freeze Predicted In The Area For Saturday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop Saturday night to 28 degrees or less. Here is the latest report from the National Weather Service:  HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT /11 PM CDT/ TONIGHT TO 11 AM EDT /10 AM CDT/ SUNDAY... * EVENT... A HARD FREEZE EXPECTED WITH LOWS FROM THE TEENS NORTH TO THE UPPER 20S SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)