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Japan
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Association for the Promotion of Living Values
ALIVE Associate

Evelyn Sasamoto
Suishin Kyokai

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Current Status - 2011

Living Values Education is being used regularly at 7 sites:

3 International Kindergartens

1 Elementary School

1 Middle School

1 College

1 Community Group 

Kindergarten

LVE is still being used throughout the entire curriculum of Gateway International Children's Garden, a private kindergarten in Fujisawa City, Japan. Teachers as well as parents have been trained and/or have participated in LVE workshops. 

This year, there were enough trained facilitators from the kindergarten to assist the NPO members with the Educators' Training. We are looking forward to more collaboration in this regard. 

Below is one heart-warming story told by the previous Director of the school. 

“We had been using LVE activities on a regular basis in our school for about a year, including doing a lot of practice with Conflict Resolution, especially with the 6-year olds.”

“One day, a visitor came to our school, and I was forced to spend more time than I would have preferred in conference with this person. As we stood at the door, sharing some final thoughts, a few four-year olds nearby got into a disagreement. I was trying to hurry the guest on her way, without being rude, so that I could turn my attention to the children and help them use Conflict Resolution.”

“One of our 6 year-olds saw what was happening and understood that it was very difficult for me to get away. She came up to me and said, “It’s okay, Ms. Regina, I’ll help them.’”

“She went over to the four-year olds and proceeded to use Conflict Resolution skills with them! She asked each one to tell the other what had happened, which they did; asked them if they could promise to not do it again, which they promised; and then she told them to give each other a hug, which they did. They all then went happily back to their activities, content and calmed down by this intervention.”

“My visitor and I just stood there in complete awe of these small children who were solving their own problems in such a simple, loving and natural way. We had never actually taught the children to be facilitators of Conflict Resolution, but this young girl had picked up these skills quite naturally, just by being in an environment where Conflict Resolution skills and Living Values were given importance and practiced regularly.” 

Elementary School

The ESL teacher at an American school on a U.S. Military base in Tokyo is using LVE activities in her classes a few times a month and is incorporating values into her relationships with students, parents and other teachers. “It is a great method to keep focused on the potential of each one and not get bogged down in negativities,” reports Evelyn Sasamoto. She also encourages the children to relate to each other through the values they are learning in her Fun Friday club and Roots and Shoots club after school. 

Middle School

One middle school P.E. teacher who has been trained in LVE, Erika Nakai, is still using the activities on a regular basis with her students in Chiba Prefecture. She was convinced of the importance of using LVE with students as a practice teacher when she was assigned a class that was known for being disrespectful, uncooperative, and very difficult to teach. She used LVE in many of her lesson plans and the students seemed to enjoy the activities. On the day of her final observation by the Principal, she was very nervous. She had chosen cooperation as the theme of her lesson and instructed the students to find a way amongst themselves to get all students onto a small stand used for jumping during gymnastics. It required a lot of communication and cooperation for this to be achieved. The students (unknown to her) had agreed with each other ahead of time to be cooperative during this observation because they wanted her to succeed. The students worked very hard and achieved the goal. She was given high marks by the Principal, thanks to the cooperation and unity from this class of “difficult” students. 

College

One professor at Nagoya University is uses LVE-related ideas and activities in her English classes and continues to get very positive feedback regarding those classes. 

Parents

Parents of children at the Gateway International Garden kindergarten are able to participate in monthly LVE workshops led by parents who have previously gone through the LVE trainings which are offered every summer, usually in June. The monthly meetings encourage parents to be aware of and involved in the kinds of value activities their children are experiencing daily at the kindergarten and to extend the LVE way of being into the homes and community. 

General Public

Workshops are still being held once a month, in Kanagawa Prefecture, by Yoshie Kanda, called “Values in the Home.” These trainings are open to the public. Some participants are mothers, some are married without children, and some are single adults. These workshops are continuing since 2006 due to popular request by the participants. A different value is considered each month during the two-hour workshop. It provides the Japanese participants with the chance to self-reflect in a safe and positive environment, something not so common in the Japanese culture.

LVE activities were included for children and their parents who attended Aroma-Therapy classes at the Sei Shin Cho Community Center in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo, on 3 weekends in July and August. The attendees enjoyed the activities and parents have been inspired to extend the LV “atmosphere” to their homes.

Business World

Nowadays, values have become a very important issue for Japanese business people; they want to find ways to make their lives more meaningful. Living Values activities provide a great opportunity for them to explore how focusing on values can increase their joy for living. One facilitator in Tokyo, Masaaki Tanaka, is incorporating LVE in various ways in his trainings and workshops for business people. The benefits for the participants include eye-opening journeys into the inner self, personal encounters with one's own goodness, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of one's true self. 

Translation Project

The LVE NPO in Tokyo is currently spearheading the translation of the LVE Educators' Training Guide. This project is being done by volunteers, both from the NPO and from the Gateway International Kindergarten. All LVE activity books have already been translated into Japanese, so the Guidebook will be the final addition to that list. It will not be published, but simply made available to trainees as they complete the LVE TTTs, perhaps as a PDF file. The aim is to complete this project by June, 2012. 

Illustrations

A Japanese artist illustrated two of the LVE stories, “Lilly the Leopard” and the “Happy Sponges” a few years ago. The Tokyo LVE NPO now has those illustrations available as PowerPoint files. Anyone interested in receiving them for use in LVE trainings or activities is welcome to use them if they promise to use them solely for non-profit, LVE/educational activities. Please contact Evelyn Sasamoto, japan@livingvalues.net  if you would like to have these PowerPoint files and can agree to the requirement. 

Children's Book

A limited number (3 copies only) of the children's book, The Original Forest, which includes episodes involving values related to saving the environment, will be given away to the first 3 people to send a request to Evelyn Sasamoto, japan@livingvalues.net.  So, if you are interested, please send an e-mail message, the sooner the better, giving your name and (physical) mailing address so that the book can be sent to you.

March 2007

Kindergartens

LV has been adopted and put into the curriculum of a private kindergarten in Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa City, called Gateway International Children's Garden. The teachers have all been trained and many of the parents have participated in LV workshops and parent training, as well. Below is one heart-warming story told by Regina Splees (director/head teacher) about using LV in her school.

"We had been using LV activities on a regular basis in our school for about a year, including doing a lot of practice with Conflict Resolution, especially with the 6-year olds."

"One day, a visitor came to our school, and I was forced to spend more time than I would have preferred in conference with this person. As we stood at the door, sharing some final thoughts, a few four-year olds nearby got into a disagreement. I was trying to hurry the guest on her way, without being rude, so that I could turn my attention to the children and help them use Conflict Resolution."

"One of our 6 year-olds saw what was happening and understood that it was very difficult for me to get away. She came up to me and said, 'It's OK Ms. Regina, I'll help them.'"

"She went over to the four-year olds and proceeded to use Conflict Resolution skills with them! She asked each one to tell the other what had happened, which they did; asked them if they could promise to not do it again, which they promised; and then she told them to give each other a hug, which they did. They all then went happily back to their activities, content and calmed down by this intervention."

"My visitor and I just stood there in complete awe of these small children who were solving their own problems in such a simple, loving and natural way. We had never actually taught the children to be facilitators of Conflict Resolution, but this young girl had picked up these skills quite naturally, just by being in an environment where Conflict Resolution skills and Living Values were given importance and practiced regularly."

Ms. Splees provides on-going LV training for her staff and for the parents of her students. She has also organized a community group for young people, especially those who have "graduated" from her kindergarten, to continue using Living Values Activities after school and during summer camp. She is a treasure-store of ideas and goals for implementing LV into her local community.

Another LV facilitator, also in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yoshie Handa、goes to still another kindergarten once a month to use LV activities with the five-year olds there. Their teachers simply observe during these activities. Ms. Handa reports that these five-year olds seriously reflect and give very insightful answers and comments during LV activities, especially about peace and respect. She really enjoys the time she spends using LV with these children. Other kindergartens are beginning to take and interest, and she has been invited to introduce LV at one other kindergarten, as well. The teachers are also interested in being trained, so she is beginning to plan and organize a training for kindergarten teachers in the near future.

Middle School

One middle school P.E. teacher who has been trained in LV, Erika Nakai, is using the activities on a regular basis with her students in Chiba Prefecture. She was convinced of the importance of using LV with students as a practice teacher when she was assigned a class that was known for being disrespectful, uncooperative, and very difficult to teach. She used LV in many of her lesson plans and the students seemed to enjoy the activities. On the day of her final observation by the Principal, she was very nervous. She had chosen cooperation as the theme of her lesson and instructed the students to find a way amongst themselves to get all students onto a small stand used for jumping during gymnastics. It required a lot of communication and cooperation for this to be achieved. The students (unknown to her) had agreed with each other ahead of time to be cooperative during this observation because they wanted her to succeed. The students worked very hard and achieved the goal. She was given high marks by the Principal, thanks to the cooperation and unity from this class of "difficult" students.

High School

At a high school for American students in Tokyo, an ESL and Japanese language teacher, Evelyn Sasamoto, is having very good results with LV. For her ESL students, she often asks them to reflect on various values in the books, poems, textbooks, and stories they are reading, or in their relationships, and then to put those reflections down on paper. It is very useful in getting them to think about their feelings before trying to write and put their ideas into formal English.

In her Japanese I class, she is incorporating LV into her own attitude and relationship with her students. Just by constantly giving each student respect and trying to help each one find their own best way to learn the language while keeping self-esteem, even when the learning gets to be quite difficult, is reaping great rewards.

College

Once a month, for about a year, focusing on a different value each month, at Toyo University in Tokyo, with the cooperation of Professor Satomi Saito, LV facilitators have been holding workshops for university students and the general public. The response from the general public has been positive and consistent. Most recently, during a workshop on respect, conducted in English for the university students, the response was very positive. Many students, who usually do not participate so much during class, really relaxed, opened up and tried to express themselves in English. It was agreed that it would be good to try and schedule more of this type of workshop during classes for the students.

Parents

During the 2006 summer vacation, a local training of four workshops for parents was held in a suburb of Tokyo. The response was mixed. A few mothers were very excited about the possibilities of using LV in their daily lives with their families. A few other mothers were able to self-reflect during the trainings, but were not so sure of how they would be able to use and incorporate what they had learned and experienced. It was agreed by all that more time for further workshops would be helpful in trying to bridge this gap. There wasn't time to extend the workshops then, but there is a plan to hold further workshops for these parents during 2007 summer vacation.

General Public

Workshops are being held once a month, in Kanagawa Prefecture, by Yoshie Kanda, called "Values in the Home." These trainings are open to the public. Some participants are mothers, some are married without children, and some are single adults. Started in April, 2006, these workshops are continuing due to popular request by the participants. A different value is considered each month during the two-hour workshop. It provides the Japanese participants with the chance to self-reflect in a safe and positive environment, something not so common in the Japanese culture.

Business World

Nowadays, values have become a very important issue for Japanese business people; they want to find ways to make their lives more meaningful. Living Values activities provide a great opportunity for them to explore how focusing on values can increase their joy for living. One facilitator in Tokyo, Masaaki Tanaka, is incorporating LV in various ways in his trainings and workshops for business people. The benefits for the participants include eye-opening journeys into the inner self, personal encounters with one's own goodness, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of one's true self.

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