Newry, Mourne, and Down District Council
How it Began
In 2007 the Newry & Mourne District Council reached out to us looking for a partnership in South dakota.
Pictured right is the inaugaration between the Sister Cities Sioux Falls and Sister Cities Newry & Mourne with the Sioux Falls mayor and Newry & Mourne Mayor in 2008.
Promoting Cultural Events
When a community of any size decides to join with a community in another nation to learn more about the other and to develop friendly and meaningful exchanges, the two propose a formal affiliation leading to official designation as "sister cities." Sister Cities of Sioux Falls is a proud sponsor of the Sioux Falls Dakota Irish Festival every July. We work together with other non-profit organizations to help promote our cultural relationships.
International Pen-Pal Relationships
Our most recent international pen-pal relationship started with young elementary students between Sioux Falls St. Mary's Elementary and St. Dallans Primary School in Newry & Mourne Norther Ireland.
At the time, Mayor Cllr Mick Murphy has expressed his enthusiasm for this project and has commented on how ”forming links at an early age has the potential to grow and bond with our Sister City as these children share these experiences and grow together on both sides of the Atlantic”.
Perhaps most obviously, writing and receiving handwritten pen pal letters practices both reading and writing skills. Writing longhand encourages better use of grammar skills than communicating electronically. Writing international pen pals also encourage the practice of writing in a different language. Whether you are a student (at any level) or interesting in Sister Cities, it's important to understand human relationships and, regardless where you come from, the lives of people who live in a different culture.
Katie Travis, St. Mary's Elementary teacher stated, "The meeting between St. Mary Elementary and St. Dallans Primary went beautifully. We first went around and each child met their pen pal. Then they played the tin whistle and showed us some of the gear used for Irish football. Then we did a question answer session back and forth. It was a wonderful opportunity for my class. I know they were so thankful to get the chance to see their pen pals."