Kid Stuff

A Musical Exchange

program brings Korean kids, musicians to Eau Claire area

Jeanie Butzler |

Two families in the Chippewa Valley have the unique opportunity this winter to experience a foreign culture within their very own homes. They are participating in an annual exchange program through the Neillsville United Methodist Church. This year, 36 South Korean elementary and middle school children are visiting Western Wisconsin. And, for the first time, they bring with them four professional musicians from South Korea who will be putting on traditional Korean drumming concerts’ throughout Western Wisconsin, as well as Chicago and Minnesota, for the months of January and February. At the end of the two months, they will be performing a large public concert at Lake Street United Methodist Church. Two of the Korean students are attending Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School. I had a chance to speak with Kristin Walukas, the mother of one of the host families. Their family is delighted to host Yoon Seo, who is getting a picture of what life is like here in the states by attending the same activities as the Walukas children. In return, their family is enjoying glimpses into the Korean culture by trying Yoon Seo’s favorite Korean dishes, such as Kim Bop and white rice. If anyone is interested in hosting an exchange student next winter, they can contact Pastor Dong Su Lee of the Neillsville United Methodist Church.