District 88 provides a variety of study-abroad opportunities for students

Pictured is District 88 Assistant Superintendent Jean Barbanente.

At District 88, our mission is to work for the continuous improvement of student achievement. To help accomplish that mission, we provide a variety of travel-abroad experiences to develop well-rounded, culturally aware students.

We have about 40 languages and more than 30 countries represented among our District 88 families, and almost half of the 4,000 students at our schools speak a language other than English at home. In the 2019 Niche Rankings, we were ranked as the second-most diverse school district in Illinois. Last school year, we updated our Strategic Plan and incorporated an emphasis on cultural competency and culturally responsive classrooms to ensure students are college, career and world ready. We continuously provide opportunities for students to discover and learn about other cultures, as we know those interactions teach students life lessons and help them develop a global mindset. Below is more information about those opportunities.

Village of Addison Sister Cities student-exchange program with Triggiano, Italy
The Addison Sister Cities with Triggiano, Italy, is a non-profit organization program that strives to create and strengthen cultural exchanges. An agreement signed in 2003 was to encourage friendship and understanding between Addison and Triggiano. To date, Addison Trail has had about 50 students participate in the program.

This year, 12 students and two staff members from Italy are visiting Addison from Oct. 7 to 15, and about 13 Addison Trail students (along with staff members) will travel to Italy from March 26 to April 4, 2020. During their trip, students will tour Venice, Florence, Rome and of course Triggiano.

The Addison Sister Cities Committee continues to raise funds to help offset the costs of hosting the Italian students and to provide scholarships for Addison Trail students to travel to Italy. The remaining costs are funded by the students and their families. A fundraiser to support the program will take place on Oct. 18, when Addison Trail will host a benefit concert featuring THE FOUR C NOTES, “Chicago’s only tribute (group) recreating the iconic sounds of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.” The concert will begin at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $30 each. All proceeds will help fund the Village of Addison Sister Cities student-exchange program. For more information, and to buy tickets, go to www.dupage88.net/SisterCitiesConcert2019.

If you’re interested in joining the Addison Sister Cities Committee, or for more information about the program, contact Marianne Fotopoulos with the Village of Addison at mfotopoulos@addison-il.org.

German American Partnership Program (GAPP) – Student Exchange
The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) – Student Exchange provides information about cultural, social and political life in Germany through encouraging intercultural dialogue and enabling cultural involvement.

Fourteen District 88 students, along with staff members, traveled to Germany from May 31 to June 20. They attended school at Helmholtzschule in Frankfurt, lived with local families and toured Frankfurt and Munich.

As part of the exchange program, District 88 welcomed and hosted students, teachers and the principal from Helmholtzschule from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8, 2018. During their time with the district, the group from Germany shadowed Addison Trail and Willowbrook students, staff members and administrators; toured the buildings; and viewed extracurricular activities such as athletic and performing arts events. They also visited Chicago landmarks.

For more information about the GAPP, go to www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/spr/eng/gap.html.

Costa Rica
This spring, District 88 will travel to Costa Rica for the first time.

From March 28 to April 4, 2020, about 30 Addison Trail and Willowbrook pupils, along with staff members, will visit Las Selvas de Costa Rica. Highlights of the trip will include:

  • Monteverde Cloud Forest canopy tour
  • Visiting with local students in San Carlos
  • Experiencing a Costa Rican cooking lesson
  • Participating in a community and reforestation service project

Left: (From right) District 88 Superintendent Dr. Scott Helton, District 88 Assistant Superintendent Jean Barbanente and Addison Trail Principal Michael Bolden speak with Addison Trail students and students from Italy during a recent video segment of "The State of District 88" with Addison Community Television (ACTV). The filming took place on Oct. 10 and highlighted pupils who are participating in the Village of Addison Sister Cities student-exchange program with Triggiano, Italy, this year. Right: (From right) District 88 Superintendent Dr. Scott Helton, Willowbrook Principal Dr. Daniel Krause and Addison Trail Principal Michael Bolden, along with District 88 world language teacher Nilay Woodbury (front row, left), chat with Addison Trail and Willowbrook students who recently participated in the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) – Student Exchange. Those students also were featured during "The State of District 88" video segment on Oct. 10. To watch the show, click the video above.

On Oct. 10, we featured our Italy and Germany student-exchange programs during our “State of District 88” video segment. We partner with Addison Community Television (ACTV) to film this segment throughout the school year, which highlights student successes and important information about the district. To watch the show, click the video above.

Thank you for your continued support of District 88.