Marshall will be well represented in the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE)
Language Leaper Japanese Summer Camp Program this month in Huntington.
The free camp is designed to teach children the Japanese language and culture through fun, interactive and hands-on sessions with native speakers. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily June 18-22 at Guyandotte Elementary School. The camp is open to Cabell County elementary students entering grades 1-5 this fall.
The camp is presented by the WVDE in partnership with Cabell County Schools. It is funded by those two organizations, as well as by grants from Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Nippon Tungsten.
Azusa Yamada, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) program coordinator at Marshall, and Ikuyo Kawada, a Japanese instructor at MU, will join with current Marshall students Meagan Rose Hairston and Taeko Matsumoto, and recent graduate Jasmine Calloway-Woodard at the camp.
Mami Itamochi, international education coordinator with the WVDE and a coordinator of the summer camp, said at least 50 students will take part. That was to be the maximum number, but Itamochi said 36 students are on a waiting list and they hope to be able admit some of them.
At the camp, instructors will teach culturally authentic songs, dances, games and arts. An authentic Japanese lunch will be provided daily free of charge.
“Our goal is to expose the students to different cultures, to open their eyes to something else,” Itamochi said. “They will learn the Japanese culture, language and customs.”
She said in previous camps, including a Chinese camp in Morgantown, the children were quite interested in learning. “It’s always nice to work with those students,” she said.
Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), said the camp is a very good collaboration between COLA and local schools.
“We are seeing more Japanese companies who find West Virginia to be an ideal place to do business and West Virginia companies who find business opportunities in Japan,” Pittenger said. “As such, it is important that we all learn more about the Japanese people and their great history and culture.”
For further information contact Itamochi at firstname.lastname@example.org or Debbie Nicholson at email@example.com or 304-558-0200.
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