KENNEBUNK – Mary Rolerson Hebert will depart for Tokyo in June as a participant in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. Hebert is a Lewiston native, graduating from Lewiston High School in 1974.

Residing in Kennebunk, Hebert was selected from a national pool of more than 2,500 applicants by a panel of educators. The program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators in the U.S. to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations.

Hebert, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at the middle school of the Kennebunks, will begin her visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation on Japanese life and culture and meetings with Japanese government officials and educators.

In addition to teaching, Hebert writes summer theater reviews, races in the Maine Mountain Snowboard Series and is pursuing her graduate degree in educational leadership.

She will travel with a group of 20 other teachers to selected host cities outside of Tokyo where they will have direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools as well as a teachers college. They also will visit cultural sites and local industries in addition to a brief homestay with a Japanese family.

Hebert and her group will travel to the city of Murayama in the prefecture of Yamagata. Upon their return, program participants share what they have learned about Japan with their students and communities through a variety of outreach projects.

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, based in Tokyo, oversees all aspects of the program, sponsored by the government of Japan. It was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to study in the U.S.

Primary and secondary school educators throughout the United States can apply to take part in the program for 2006. For more information, refer to or contact 1-888-527-2636 or [email protected]

To learn more about Hebert’s experience before, during and after her trip, read her online journal at’shomeworkfiles/Japanjourneyjournal.htm.

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