Middle School Students Update us on Student Service Leadership

The Middle School Student Service Leadership Team (SSLT) has written the following updates on activities for this past semester:

Back to School Fundraiser and Cambodian Service Projects

Student Service Leadership hit the ground running in August, and began the 2014-2015 school year by sponsoring the MS Back to School Dance. We also had our annual BTS Fundraiser and raised ¥60,000. This money went to fund our annual Cambodian service projects. Each year, we sponsor a Cambodian school student by paying his school fees, purchasing his uniform, and providing the school supplies that he will need for the year. This is the 5th year that we have sponsored this student. His is now in high school. We also provide the money for the building of 2 village water wells in rural Cambodia. This drastically improves the lives of as many as 40 people per well. The SSLT works in conjunction with Kasumisou Foundation each year with both of these service initiatives.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

IMG_5262Trick or treating for UNICEF taught us the importance of giving to others. Did you know that you only need $1 to give a child clean and safe water for 40 days, $5 to feed a malnourished child for five days, $10 to vaccinate 280 children, $100 to protect 100 kids from malaria, and $500 to install a water pump in a village? This year we raised over ¥50,000 for UNICEF. The kids in the SSLT program went around to different houses while trick-or-treating. At each place we visited, we would ask for donations for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. The money that we collected can install a water pump to give water to a whole village and vaccinations for 280 kids!

(Chloe W. and Olivia F., grade 6 students)

Spirit Day

Spirit is defined as the improvement of the mood in yourself or a community. As for ASIJ, that is what spirit day is all about, a time where the ASIJ community comes together to embrace Mustang spirit. On Spirit Day, we chow down on food and cheer on our varsity football team with the power of the Mustang. Along with all this action, many groups at ASIJ set up booths to give the word out on their worthy cause. This year the Student Service Leadership Team or SSLT for short had one of those booths. We sold various items including different types of sports balls and as a result, we raised over ¥70,000.

(Anna V., grade 8 student)

Rice Drive

IMG_5227This year for the 2nd Harvest Japan Rice Drive, the ES, MS, and HS students did an amazing job! Together we brought in over 350 bags of rice, which will be given to the less fortunate. I brought two bags of rice in and, reflecting on it, I am really proud of ASIJ for giving so much attention towards the homeless people and helping the less fortunate. Because of the effort and cooperation of the students in our school, there will be fewer hungry people in Japan. I am glad that we were able to give them the help that they needed and I wish the best for these people. I hope that we keep up the good work next year and hopefully set an even higher school record for the Rice Drive.

(Jasmine F., grade 7 student)

Tohoku Virtual English Classroom

We stand in front of the camera ready to deliver our lesson to the kids in Ofunato. We are all smiling, but I know that we are all nervous fearing that if we make a mistake they would laugh at us. It was the first time for all of us to do the TVEC (Tokyo Virtual English Class), so we were all scared, or at least that’s how I felt when I first did it. But surprisingly, it didn’t go like that. If one of us made a mistake, they wouldn’t laugh at us and soon the teachers (students) were having lots of fun.

After my first lesson, I signed up for more and more lessons. The TVEC is the name of the project the SSLT is a part of. For this project, the SSLT or the middle school students teach the students at Ikawa Elementary School, in Ofunato, English on Skype. We deliver live lessons on Skype for free. The reason we do this for Ikawa is because that particular city was damaged a lot by the big earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Even if about 4 years have passed after the incident, there are a lot of people who still don’t have homes to live in and families that still have fear about the tragedy. A lot of people died because of the incident. If they are in 6th grade now, this happened in 2nd grade for them, so I think they still remember what exactly happened. That is also the reason why we do this. We want to cheer them up by teaching fun lessons in English to the students.

The best thing about TVEC is that it is fun. I have fun, they have fun, and everyone is having a good time. After the lesson, I think about all the smiles in the classroom, both here and there. I hope we all got to give them a happy memory to keep forever. I hope we changed them. If you want to make a change for good, TVEC is for you!

(Lisa Y., grade 6 student)

School Supply Drive for Indonesia

Ryo K., with the support of SSLT, collected school supplies for students in Indonesia.

We eventually collected a total of 2000 pencils, 1000 pens, 500 erasers, and a lot of other donations. (including notebooks and pencil sharpeners, etc.) We were able to donate the writing utensils to the poor children in Indonesia on December 28th. We went to a place in Indonesia where people face poverty on a daily basis. A member of the Japanese embassy accompanied us. Most of the children didn’t have parents, or their parents didn’t have any jobs. We played Japanese games such as Darumasannga Koronnda, and also did origami. I was surprised when we gave out treats to kids who were able to say their name in Japanese, and who ever got the treat shared it with others! I felt like these kind of kids knew the importance of life and the will to survive. We collected writing utensils from ASIJ, Nishimachi International School, Tamagawa Gakuen, a school in America, a boy scout troop, and a lot of individuals. Thanks everyone for your support of our school supply drive.

(Ryo K., grade 8 student)

Winterfest 2015 and Gender Equality

During Winterfest, SSLT raised funds for all of our service projects by selling various winter-themed novelties for ¥100-¥300 each. SSLT members worked in shifts to sell the items to people who had come to Winterfest that day. We raised over ¥30,000 from our sale. SSLT also sold drinks on behalf of the PTA, and the PTA is going to use the earned money to make our school a better place in which to learn.

(Jessica T., grade 6 student)

Nicolas M. and Xi’an B. designed t-shirts for gender equality.

We started a fundraising booth, to help raise awareness about gender equality and girl’s education rights. We made t-shirts, and sold them at the SSLT Winterfest booth. We raised over ¥150,000 and this money will go to help girls around the world get an education. For those who bought a T-shirt or played the game, their money will help pay for a girl getting into a school. The Girl Rising movie, which was shown throughout the middle school, inspired us. We decided we wanted to help make a change. Then we started designing t-shirts, and thanks to Mr. Wilce and Mr. Wise we got them printed. We also thank the SSLT group, for following through with our plans and helping us to reach our ultimate goal. Last but not least, we thank everyone that donated. You were the ones that made this possible.

(Xi’an B. and Nicolas M., grade 6 students)