English Program for Children in Fukushima
CWAJ has a long history of providing cross-cultural English programs for children and beginning in 2014 we were pleased to use that expertise to brighten up the lives of children in Fukushima by introducing fun English classes.
In July 2014, CWAJ volunteers led two sessions of classes at PEP Kids Koriyama, an indoor playground where children can play and participate in a variety of programs without fear of possible exposure to nuclear radiation. A total of 40 children aged from 3-7 yrs old took part in easy English lessons with games, songs and storytelling. One boy shouted out, “Eigo wa tanoshii” (English is fun!). The day before, CWAJ joined in the Manasobi Summer Festival, hosting an English corner where children could do crafts, play games, and listen to books read in English. More than 50 children took part.
In 2015, CWAJ volunteers went in March, July and December to hold a total of 6 programs at PEP Kids Koriyama and one program at Aoi Mado. A total of 132 children, aged 2-8 yrs old, participated. The programs included teaching vocabulary, games, storytelling, and singing songs. Each program had a multicultural theme, (Spring/Easter, Summer/Animals, Winter/Christmas) for getting familiar with English and learning vocabulary while keeping it fun and interesting.
In 2016, CWAJ held two English Programs in both August and December. With the 2016 Rio Olympics just completed, Sports was the perfect theme for the summer program. The children enjoyed getting “gold medals” for learning English while acting out a variety of sports. The December program included action songs, storytelling of The Snowman, a matching card game of winter clothing, and letting all the children dress in a Santa outfit.
We were honored to have the Mayor of Koriyama City and his wife visit our programs in 2015 and 2016. Not only did that encourage us but it also reminded us how important they believe this program has been for the children and Koriyama City.