Japanese elementary students visit the Sullivans School
Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan Students from Sawayama Elementary School, a local Japanese elementary school in Yokosuka Japan visited the Sullivans Elementary School on board Commander Fleet Activities, (CFAY) Yokosuka on Thursday, February 12, 2015. Students from both schools, made crafts, ate lunch, played at recess, and enjoyed a day of international fellowship together.
Students began their day by ringing in at the Sullivans Elementary School Ship’s Bell in the B building lobby. Ringing in is a Sullivan’s tradition based on the Navy tradition of ringing a ship’s bell for arriving and departing sailors. The students then split up into 3rd, 4th and 5th grades and visited Sullivan’s classrooms. In their classrooms, students took advantage of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday to work together on crafts and trade valentines. The Japanese students were enchanted by their new friend’s hearts, cards and candies. The new partners made heart-shaped carriers printed with names in English and Hiragana. The bags were also printed with friends and tomodachi which means friend in Japanese.
A school tour followed and the Japanese students visited American music and art classrooms, the information center, school gym and regular classrooms. Afterwards, students ate lunch together in the cafeteria, enjoyed recess on the playground and then rang out again at the Ship’s Bell with Sullivans Administrators.
The tour was arranged jointly with Sawayama Elementary School Administration, the Yokosuka International Association and Jeff Sparling, a third grade teacher at Sullivans. Sparling, 2014 Japan District Teacher of the Year said of the visit, “Education is the key to the success of a culture. It is important to experience the educational culture of our host nation and to allow them an opportunity to experience ours, and it should be fun and stuff too.”
Takeko Akemine, Yokosuka International Association Representative, stated, “The students enjoy the time and share the same experience and then they find the difference between both schools. This leads to mutual understanding. “
DoDEA Pacific provides a comprehensive preK-12 education to the children of military and eligible civilian personnel families serving throughout Asia. The 50 schools in DoDEA Pacific are composed of more than 23,500 students and 3,400 professional educators and support staff. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea. The Sullivans School is the largest school in DoDEA with a student body of approximately 1200 in grades K-5.