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Nevis students befriend namesake kids

Nevis students in their new West Indies apparel are, from left, Gabrielle David, Shelbi Kline, Eleannor Roehl and Kaylee Halik. (Submitted photos)1 / 2
Nevis, West Indies students were pleased with the gift from the students in the north. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Nevis second graders have learned they share a commonality with students in the West Indies.

Both call Nevis "home."

In March, Pam Parisian and husband Paul Howes traveled aboard a cruise ship to St. Kitts and Nevis, a federal two-island nation in the Leeward Islands

"We thought it would be fun to have an exchange between the schools," Parisian said.

Parisian contacted the Ministry of Education in Nevis, W.I. to gauge interest.

A Ministry of Education official coordinated the initiative on the island. Parisian contacted "inland" teachers Kathy Thompson and Shawn Klimek, asking if the students would write letters to the children in Nevis, W.I.

The young diplomats received the idea warmly.

Prior to arriving on the island of Nevis, Parisian made a DVD to present to the St. Thomas Primary students.

"We wanted to show the children what Nevis, Minn. looked like and the activities that were available to the area," she said.

On the DVD, the second graders describe their school, class, local events and talk about their hobbies and sport interests.

In addition, T-shirts were made with Nevis, Minnesota, USA printed to pass to all the second graders at the school on the island.

Upon arrival, Parisian and Howes toured the school, met each elementary class and traveled the island. They shared the letters from Nevis School, a scrapbook compiled by the second graders, the DVD and the T-shirts.

In turn, they were given letters to take back to the Nevis along with T-shirts.

While there, they took pictures and videos that were made into a DVD to show the second graders on the home front how kids in the

Meeting with the students this week, the DVD sparked interest, Parisian said.

Nevis students are now researching activities on the smallest sovereign nation in the Americas, learning cricket is a favorite past time and singing the national anthem.