History of the Ketchikan • Gero • Kanayama Exchange
The Ketchikan-Kanayama Exchange program started in 1986, beginning with teacher exchanges and annual exchanges of students in 1987. The exchange started as part of a school district program, and then the Ketchikan-Kanayama Exchange Association was formed in 1989 to administer the program. It is a non-profit organization run totally by volunteers dedicated to keeping the program running well. Funding from the school district and the borough is minimal, and covers only expenses for the teacher exchange and some of the expenses incurred during the Kanayama student visit. The first visit from Kanayama delegates (the Mayor and Superintendent, etc.) to Ketchikan to decide whether or not to start an exchange, took place in November 1986. Ketchikan delegates (Ketchikan’s Mayor and Superintendent) then visited Kanayama in March 1987 for the first time. Following that, Christa Bruce and family went over, and the Ketchikan and Kanayama students first visited each other.