by Carol Hildebrand


Mar 15, 20022 mins
IT Skills

Sister cities Amagase, Japan, and Westport, New Zealand, have come up with a sheepish way to foster communication among schoolchildren. They’ve set up websites that let the Japanese kids adopt and name lambs from the Westport area. Each lamb gets its own website, courtesy of personal website company (

New Zealand schoolchildren who attend St. Canices in Westport update the sites with reports about the lambs. The kids from both towns regularly exchange e-mail about the little critters, who have been dubbed with names like Luncheon, Fluffy and Mavis. Anyone can send an e-mail to a lamb and will get an answer courtesy of the New Zealand schoolkids, says CEO Robert Wiles.

Wiles admits the project may sound a little woolly, but it gives the kids an opportunity to learn about different cultures, as well as the intricacies of the Web. “It really is a global village kind of a project,” says Wiles. So far, about 10 lambs have been adopted, he says, and several schools in Amagase have gotten involved. The St. Canices school district is even using the program to jump-start a Japanese language class next year, he adds.

What’s in it for the lambs? Sadly, only a little special treatment in the form of a paddock of their own before they become lamb chops.