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From West Virginia To Peru

Three schools in Cabell County are now part of the West Virginia National Guard’s State Partnership Program with Peru.

"What we do is we exchange information," Major Todd Miller says of the partnership that has been in place since 1996.

It began as a military effort but now, he says, they’re working to expand into civilian life which includes schools in Peru and in the Mountain State.

On Thursday, eighth grade students at Milton Middle School talked in Spanish, via Skype, with students at Buckingham School, located near Lima, Peru.  A similar Skype event has already been held with students at Cabell-Midland High School.

The topic was "Fairs and Festivals."  The students in Ventanilla, Peru talked about their music festival while the students in Milton spoke about the Pumpkin Festival.

"I thought it was pretty cool and it was fun to get to learn about a new culture," Walter Gilson from Ona, an eighth grade student at Milton Middle School, said.

Major Miller says they are already working to involve other schools.

"We in the National Guard are able to go to this country, or to different countries.  We want to be able to share our experiences with the communities," he said.

"By including county school systems in some of these things that we do, and in a very cheap way through Skype, we are able to introduce them to a different culture, a different language and a different school."

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