Sakura Foundation is proud to announce that Chibi no Gakko has partnered with the Foundation as its newest program offering. “Chibi,” as it is affectionately called, has been teaching children about Japanese and Japanese American (JA) culture and heritage since 1996. The organization is comprised of volunteer, certified Colorado teachers who offer the program every-other year to K-8 students and provide mentoring opportunities to high schoolers who participated in the program as youngsters. The students learn about their own family history, create art projects, cook and enjoy food, play games, and learn songs and dances – all of which are immersed in the rich Japanese and JA culture. Students can be of any ethnicity to participate in Chibi. The program is for all students who wish to delve into the Japanese and JA culture. In 2018, Chibi teachers accompanied students and parents on a two-day field trip to Amache, where they toured the historical incarceration site and visited the Amache Preservation Society museum in Lamar, Colorado. This trip brought to life the forced removal and imprisonment of more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, the majority of whom were American citizens, as a result of Executive Order 9066. President Franklin D Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942 which removed “undesirables” from the west coast and forced them into 10 concentration camps in the U.S.
The next Chibi session will take place in 2022. Teachers will begin their planning this year to continue to offer meaningful and fun activities and sessions for the students and mentors. This partnership between Chibi and Sakura Foundation is the perfect combination of both organization’s missions to share and celebrate Japanese and JA culture and heritage and to enrich the lives of our community. If you know of a parent or student interested in the 2022 Chibi no Gakko session, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.