Upper Providence Elementary School second graders welcomed principal Susana Carrizo with singing at Monday night's board meeting.
Carrizo, principal of the General Francisco Ortiz de Ocampo School in Jesus Maria, Cordoba, Argentina, is visiting for three weeks. She arrived on Saturday and UPES principal Dr. Melissa Patschke met her in Washington DC.
The exchange program is funded by grants from the US Department of State and several other organizations.
Patschke said several other members of the UPES staff came to Washington DC on Sunday and they toured some of the landmarks in Washington before coming back to the Spring-Ford area.
Patschke said that the students at UPES and at Carrizo's school will be communicating via letters, e-mail and Skype and that the classes will share lessons and learn about each other's countries and cultures.
Through a translator, Carrizo said she is very happy to be here and looks forward to working with the students and parents at UPES.
Patschke also introduced teacher Michele Fonte, who manages a pen pal program at UPES.
"600 children and 11 teachers have participated in the pen pal program" with John Manning and his class at the Kimberly Park State School in Queensland, Australia, said Fonte.
Seventh grader Mary Kate Mullarkey, who participated in the pen pal program, talked about the impact that her participation has had on her life.
While Mullarkey was a student at UPES, she became pen pals with one of Manning's students, Matilda.
"Being a pen pal has taught us about technology, leardership and teamwork, but I made a lifelong friend," Mullarkey said.
Mullarkey got the opportunity in 2010 to visit Australia with her mother and Fonte and meet the Australian class, including her friend Matilda.
A student presented Carrizo with flowers at the end of the presentation.