Click on the envelope to

join our

email list! 

Search this site

From Twitter
« Ratification of Osaka JALT Constitution: Voting Deadline June 21 | Main | Message and April 7 event notes from Andy Boon »

Jason Bartashius: After School Lessons For Tohoku Children

Dear colleagues,

Last year I went to an event at the YWCA for Fukushima children who were doing a home stay in Kyoto.  Everyone there wished to welcome them with open arms.  I had been hoping to go to Tohoku to help out, but ultimately the travel costs and time constraints prohibited me from doing so.  So I was glad to be able to help out locally.

 After that weekend I decided to approach the English school where I work and ask if it’d be okay to invite the kids from Fukushima to join some of our classes (of course free of charge).  The owner of the school quickly agreed.   Unfortunately, it was a bit too far for the kids to travel and their time in Kyoto was coming to an end and the scheduling didn’t work out.

Shortly after this incident the wheels started to turn.  Soon a friend and I decided to create a list of schools and organizations that might be willing to offer free or discounted lessons for children displaced by the earthquake, tsunami, or nuclear crisis.  The plan was to create an information exchange website and share the list there.  We began by contacting schools we were familiar with.  Later after creating an application process we decided to contact others listed in ESL directories online.  Gradually we created a team of volunteers to help with the creation and management of the site: a web designer, a translator and a graphic designer.

Through our efforts of promoting the project and bouncing ideas off of friends and people met at JALT meetings we received feedback and suggestions.  The most often heard suggestion was to connect students with volunteer teachers for on-line lessons.  And so we began recruiting volunteer instructors to teach junior high and high school students from Tohoku.  And then a book publisher contacted us wanting to discount a couple of books for March 11th victims and share the info on our site.    

The project After School Lessons For Tohoku Children continues to grow and it’s exciting to watch it do so.  We want to create new ways for people to contribute and assist in the educational needs of affected children.  The goal is to give people ways to contribute on the local level and within their trade.   

If you own a school or are a book distributor or teacher and would like to contribute to our efforts please let us know.  It should be mentioned that the tuition discounts are from schools throughout Japan as these offers are extended to refugees who either lost their homes or are fleeing from the threat of radiation exposure.  You can find more information about volunteering on our homepage

At present we are also engaged in an advertising campaign to make sure the people who would benefit from our efforts hear about us.  A simple way everyone can contribute is to share our information via social networking. 


Jason Bartashius




References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>