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Rotary Club seeks host families for exchange student

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MASSENA — The Massena Rotary Club is looking for a home for a student from Germany who will arrive in September as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

Thomas Sullivan, Massena’s Rotary Youth Exchange program coordinator, said the group needs two host families to accommodate the student. One family would be a host from the end of August or beginning of September to February, and the second family would take over from mid-February to the end of June or beginning of July.

While Massena has had more than one inbound student in the past, it’s just one student this year, “provided we can have two host families,” he said.

Students from Belgium and Croatia are attending Massena High School and will return home at the end of the school year. Two Massena High School students, meanwhile, have been spending their year in other countries. Mackenzie George is in Fredericia, Denmark, while Nathan Marshall is in Cascavel, Brazil. Their parents are among those playing host family this year for the inbound students.

Mr. Sullivan said families don’t need to have kids to become a host family. Rotary will do a home and background check before a family can host an inbound student.

“They do not have to have kids, but it helps. They do not have to be parents. It doesn’t have to be a household with a 16-year-old boy,” he said. “It’s a great experience. We’ve done it ourselves probably four times now. They’re great kids.”

All Rotary asks of families, Mr. Sullivan said, is “that they accept the student as one of their own and they aren’t necessarily treated like they’re a house guest. If your kids have to do the dishes, we expect the student to do dishes. We expect them to abide by the rules of the host family.”

Anyone interested in hosting a student can contact Mr. Sullivan at work, 764-0295, at home, 764-1139 or by email at tom@sosupply.com.

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