Press Releases


(COLUMBIA, MO)–A group of 20 students from Columbia Public Schools will soon be arriving in Japan to participate in a marching drumline at a national summer festival, thanks in part to support from the Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF).

The CPS group is the only high school from the United States selected to participate in the 2018 Japanese summer festival in Nagano. The other invited high schools are from Austria, South Korea, and China. The Japanese Ministry of Education will cover costs for the students and two CPS band teachers to attend. During the trip, from Aug. 3-10, the students will have the opportunity to rehearse with 1,000 Japanese marching band students. The trip also includes cultural site visits and a ceremonial meeting with the local governor.

Foundation board members gathered with the students during their rehearsal at Battle High School to present a check for $2,950 to cover the costs of passports and to provide two cultural experiences, including etiquette lessons, for the students. The Foundation funds also include the creation of a CPSF flag for use during the festival’s opening ceremonies.

“The Foundation is proud to support these students as they travel to Japan to not only represent Columbia, Missouri, but the United States,” said Lynn Barnett, president of the CPSF board of directors. “It will be such a unique cultural experience for our students.”

The trip supports CPS’ goals of achievement, enrichment, and opportunity and allows CPS to highlight students from all three comprehensive local high schools. The drumline was selected to showcase the important tradition of marching bands across the country.

We are grateful for the support the Columbia Public Schools Foundation provides our schools,” said Peter Stiepleman, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools. The generosity of the foundation allows students to have access to enrichment and learning opportunities that might not otherwise be possible.

The Columbia Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation established by community volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of public education through community giving. The Foundation has funded projects in every school to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools allocating more than $1 million to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF has supported teachers and students for more than 20 years.

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