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Education Committee News

English Program for Children in Fukushima

The 4th English program for children in Fukushima was held on December 6 in Koriyama City with seven volunteers. We were honored to have the Mayor of Koriyama City and his wife to our program.
There were a total of 42 children at our two sessions and we were happy to see them enjoy our Christmas Program learning English by singing, reading, making an ornament, and playing games.

It was our pleasure to share wonderful Christmas atmosphere with many children at the end of this year in Koriyama.
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English Program for Children in Fukushima
Program Report - July 2015
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Another fun English program for children in Fukushima was held on July 22 at PEP Kids in Koriyama. For this summer session, the theme was animals and nature and activities included songs, word games, storytelling and even “Going on a Bear Hunt!”

Seven CWAJ volunteers led two hour-long sessions for a total of 30 children, plus parents. We were glad to see some familiar faces of children who came to take part again in our English program.

CWAJ was honored to have Kazuko Shinagawa, the wife of the mayor of Koriyama City, join in the morning session and enjoy fun in English with the children.

Program Report - March 2015
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Aoi Mado Easter Eggs PEP Kids
On March 22 and 23, the second English program was held at Aoi Mado and PEP Kids. We held three sessions; one session at Aoi Mado and two sessions at PEP Kids. A total 53 children and their parents participated.

Joanna Chinen, Carol Kelley, Stacy Oswalt, Hideko Sakurai, and Hisako Yamashita volunteered and I worked as the coordinator.

The program revolved around Easter, which included egg craft and egg hunts. The children learnt English words and colors by playing games and singing fun songs. The volunteers were pleased to find that the children were looking forward to our programs as we provide them with special and fun materials. We were very happy to see all the children enjoy our programs with big smiles on their faces.

An unexpected and wonderful opportunity arose before going to Koriyama. The Education and Fukushima Relief Project received a letter from APCO, a non-profit organization, informing us that Lynn Barrett wished to see our programs and communicate with us

Lynn Barrett and her husband, Lake Barrett, who was the former Site Director for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, were visiting the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants during our stay in Koriyama.

After we heard from her, we contacted our three CWAJ Fukushima Relief Scholars. In fact, Mrs. Barrett has been working on maternal and child health care for many years as a nurse near Three Mile Island and has potential risk of radiation exposure.

Two scholarship recipients, Saiko Akiyama and Sonoko Nagasawa, kindly arranged to come to PEP Kids and had a talk with Mrs. Barrett for more than one hour.

Even though Mrs. Barrett is in such severe circumstances, she is working particularly with mothers and children, who are in need of special care, both mentally and physically. Saiko Akiyama is also working with the people who need special care. They exchanged their experiences and opinions and the two scholars learned something valuable from Mrs. Barrett.

We were deighted to serve as the go-between for Mrs. Barrett and the two scholars. We were reminded how CWAJ can help women make the world a better place. We believe this meeting will produce other positive results not only for the scholars but also in the Fukushima community.


Education Committee Celebrates Christmas
Education Committees Joint Christmas gathering was held Dec 2. Twenty one CWAJ members, including the President, attended the event. The gathering gave members the opportunity to celebrate holiday festivities and connect with each other.

CWAJ Education programs provide educational and cultural opportunities for the visually impaired, returnee children and foreign students through English language and cross-cultural programs. For more than 35 years, CWAJ’s multicultural members have worked side-by-side in the following three dedicated subgroups to bring these excellent and worthwhile programs to the local Japanese community.

Children’s English Circle (CEC) is an after-school program in Tokyo for returning Japanese children who wish to maintain their English language skills after living abroad. The CEC program, which meets three Wednesday afternoons a month, blends learning with play through reading aloud, singing, crafts, and other interactive activities.

Foreign Students' Circle (FSC) holds cultural and educational programs for foreign university students studying in Japan. Each student is assigned a CWAJ volunteer who acts as a mentor during the student’s stay in Japan. FSC serves to introduce students of many nationalities to each other as well as to the intricacies of Japanese culture.

Volunteers for Visually Impaired (VVI) gives needed English language support to Japanese visually impaired through a variety of programs, such as teaching English Conversation at the Japan Vocational Development Center for the Blind, holding cross-cultural gatherings for practicing English language skills, and helping Tsukuba High School for the Blind students prepare for the EIKEN English Proficiency test.

CEC "Where in the World?"
FSC "On the way back" from a 2011 outing VVI gathering
To learn more about our Education programs, please contact