JETAA USA Funded Project in Rikuzentakata

JETAA USA granted Empowerment through Participation and Change (E-Pa+Ch) approximately $25,000 of the funds raised from the JETAA USA Earthquake Fund. This organization also goes by Youth Empowerment Iwate or Kodomo no Empowerment. The organization is based in Iwate and is working closely with the Rikuzentakata Board of Education to operate in three local schools.

Volunteer Tutors

Youth Empowerment Iwate pulls university student volunteers from Iwate Prefectural University as well as local juku teachers to provide one-on-one tutoring as well as classroom-style instruction for elementary and junior high students. Students in Rikuzentakata have lost many hours of class time due to the disaster and this is one way to help them get up to speed in their studies. The study spaces were opened in honor of Monty Dickson in November (2011) and are called Manabi no Heya. Monty, an ALT on the JET Program in Rikuzentakata, tragically lost his life on 3.11.

The Manabi no Heya have reportedly been extremely successful, even receiving a visit from the Ministry of Education. The Manabi no Heya are open three times a week, providing both study space and a space to just hang out and be kids- something that is in short order in the town of Rikuzentakata. There are currently three operating Manabi no Heya: one where individual students can study quietly on their own, a second dedicated to group study (and relaxing), and a third for classroom-style tutoring.

Thanks to Jim Gannon (Ehime, 1992-94) for sharing these photos taken from the Manabi no Heya.

For more reading, see the Yomiuri Shimbun article: Study Halls Opened in Honor of Monty-sensei.

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