Summer vacation learning-support classroom hosted for elementary and junior-high school students with international roots!

Following same programs held during thelast  summer vacation and the last spring vacation, Meiji Gakuin University once again hosted a learning-support classroom for elementary and junior-high school student refugees and other children with international roots in a classroom at its Shirokane Campus from July 31 to August 29. The program was organized and run by Support 21, a social welfare foundation, sponsored by the Tadashi Yanai Foundation and in partnership with the University’s Internal Internationalization Project of Meiji Gakuin University. Twenty-three students from the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work enrolled in “Practical Instruction in Volunteering,” a course offered as part of the Project, each participated in the classroom for several days by supporting the children’s learning sitting next to the children . One of those students, Shota Hirose, has shared an account of his experiences. Please check it out below.

~Participating in the summer vacation learning-support classroom~

Even though they were busy with their club activities and school, many kids participated in the summer vacation learning-support classroom, and we had a great time with them.All of the University students taking part in the classroom had completed special studies ahead of the program as part of our spring-semester classes. We prepared by learning about Support 21’s initiatives, along with the current situations of the kids with whom we would be working, and how to interact with them. However, the kids who attended the classroom had diverse roots, and it was crucial that support be tailored to each individual. This gave us a lot of food for thought. How could we teach the material so that it would be clear, and the kids would understand it? It gave me a renewed appreciation for the difficulty of the Japanese language, and how hard it is to support the learning of children who are attending school while trying to learn this new language. 

On August 9, we had the opportunity to take the kids to visit the Tadashi Yanai Foundation inside Tokyo Midtown, and hear President Yanai speak. His message to the kids that “it’s important to work hard toward a specific dream” left a deep impression on me. Afterwards, the kids each boldly described their own futures.

Supporting children who have international roots, but are trying to achieve their dreams and goals here in Japan through this classroom was both difficult and personally significant for me. At the same time, I also found the experience of taking part in a support program in which multiple organizations with different characters are working together in the field to be very meaningful. Since I am majoring in social work, this learning-support initiative, which is made possible by collaboration between Support 21, the Tadashi Yanai Foundation, and Meiji Gakuin University, gave me a priceless opportunity to learn about a new way of putting what I’ve studied into practice.
(Shota Hirose, third-year student in the Department of Social Work)

University students provide assistance alongside the children in the learning-support classroom.(July 31, 2017)

The children enjoy a quiz game planned by the University students while visiting the Tadashi Yanai Foundation.(August 9, 2017)