COLUMBIA — Brownies from troop 70836 at Mill Creek Elementary School donated some of their favorite books to the Miracle Library in Suncheon, Columbia’s sister city in South Korea, to show their friendship with the children there.
"I like ‘A Light in the Attic’ because it is a good book," Genny Jo Harine, 9, said.
Columbia's public communications manager, Renee Graham, said the idea came from Suzanne McDavid after she accompanied her husband, Mayor Bob McDavid, on a trip to Suncheon in October.
The McDavids and a small delegation of city officials visited Suncheon's Miracle Library as guests of Jiyoun Lee, wife of Suncheon Mayor Kwan Kyu Roh.
During the visit, city officials discussed economic development, education and health care as well as cultural exchange opportunities.
"When we were at the library, Mrs. McDavid noticed they had a selection of children's books printed in English," Graham said. "Mrs. McDavid and the director of the Miracle Library discussed that it might be nice for Columbia to add to the collection."
The Brownies sent 15 books to South Korea, including Mary Osborne's "Magic Tree House #29: Christmas in Camelot" and R.L. Stine's "My Hairiest Adventure." Each book had a signed group photo of the Brownies pasted on the inside cover.
The Miracle Library's chief librarian, Soonyoùng Hur, said Suncheon is planning to send a package of Korean books in English translation to Columbia in May. The books were chosen by children in Suncheon.
"I believe it is meaningful in that this donation would promote cultural exchanges among children in both countries," Hur said in Korean. The reporter on this story, Unho Yi, is fluent.
Both Columbia and the Miracle Library agreed this exchange would become an annual event for children in both cities, Graham said.
Columbia and Suncheon have been sister cities since 1991. Through visits like the one Columbia officials took this past summer, and the one Suncheon's Mayor Roh and Suncheon officials made to Columbia in 2010, the cities' ties are growing.
One of the reasons for the recent visit was Suncheon's invitation to Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department to submit a conceptual design for an "American garden" to be installed for the 2013 Suncheon Bay International Garden Expo. The American garden will be displayed during the expo.
Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.