Rotary Club of Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

Global Grant Peace Educational Project at GUSD

Posted by Makiko Nakasone on Jan 22, 2018
The Rotary Club of Little Tokyo hosts schools assemblies at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School with Hiroshima survivor Mrs. Kikuko Otake and WWII Japanese American internee Mr. Bill Shishima on January 16, 2018.
The Rotary Club of Little Tokyo hosted school assemblies at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) with Hiroshima survivor Mrs. Kikuko Otake and WWII Japanese American internee Mr. Bill Shishima on January 16.  More than 650 students, teachers, and staff gathered to listen their stories intently.  This was a rare opportunity for the students to listen and ask questions directly to the survivors of the two historical devastating events.
This was part of the year-long Rotary Global Grant Peace Educational Project at GUSD that we started at the beginning of this school year.  The total number of students participated in these assemblies will surpass 1,000 after the school assemblies at Dunsmore Elementary School at the end of January.
The purpose of the project is to help students learn from history and how common people's lives dramatically change abruptly when a war breaks out so they realize the importance of peace.  Our ultimate goal is to see them take an action toward nurturing peace.  So far we have donated more than 300 books on peace both in English and Japanese, and taken them to the Japanese National Museum besides the school assemblies.  The students are currently working on their group projects on peace by reading those books and interviewing their family members and conflict survivors.
The finale of the Rotary Global Peace Educational Project will be the Rotary Community Peace Conference at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Peace Conference on Saturday, April 14.  Selected students will have a chance to present their peace projects and others will participate in the Peace Speech Contest then.  The winner of the Peace Speech Contest will be sent to Hirohima this summer.  Other guest speakers include the Rotary Peace Fellow Captain D F Pace from Philadelphia Police Department, the first American chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Cultural Foundation Mr. Steven Leeper, co-founder of the compassion evoking program Challenge Day Ms. Yvonne St. John-Dutra and more.
The Rotary Community Peace Conference is free and open to all in the community.  Special thanks to the following Rotary Clubs for their kind support for this project: L.A.5, Tokyo Yoneyama Yuai, Tokyo Yoneyama Yuai E-Club, Glendale, Glendale Sunrise, Hiroshima Tonan, and Downtown L.A. 
Sponsors