As she’s packing for her journey halfway across the globe this week, Indiana first lady Karen Pence will need to remember to take 30 important things — the artwork created by students at Southside Elementary.

As part of her visit to Miyoshi City, Japan — a Columbus sister city — from Friday until Sept. 18, Pence will bring special pieces of art created by fourth grade students at Southside to elementary school students in Miyoshi.

“We want to bring them something so they know who (the Columbus students) are,” she said.

The first lady led Southside students in the creation of “name creatures,” which use the letters of each child’s name to create a fictional character.

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Abby Walsh, 14, and Lolly Walsh, 12, who are the governor and first lady’s nieces, accompanied Karen Pence on the visit to help students with the art project.

When she returns from her trip, the first lady will bring artwork created by the Miyoshi students to display at Southside, which is a sister school to the Miyoshi elementary.

And as a former art teacher herself, the first lady said she loves the opportunity to travel to schools and share her love of education with students around the world.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.