ASP (American Studies Program) students at TIUA have been doing a lot of volunteering and learning about community service since they arrived in February of this year.. This type of activity is accomplished in the classroom and through a variety of service projects made available to them. Additionally, there are TaB (Take-A-Break or Alternative Break) programs available both during Spring Break through Willamette University and in the summer through TIUA.
One project that happens right on the campus of Kaneko Commons is the Community Garden. WU and ASP students cleaned up the garden beds in the early summer and then planted beans, tomatoes, spinach and carrots. They were also responsible for keeping the garden watered and for harvesting at the appropriate time.
Students have recently made two donations to the Marion-Polk Food Share food bank.
Shannon Palmer, Willamette University ’12, worked as an International Peer Coach (IPC) for Tokyo International University of America’s American Studies Program (ASP) during her senior year at Willamette. Palmer was also a student athlete, playing tennis for four years at Willamette. (see additional story) She graduated in May and is now teaching English in Japan through the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program.
According to Palmer, she always wanted to participate in JET after hearing about the program in high school and having friends who participated. This interest was further encouraged by Palmer's study abroad experience in Japan.
When asked how her experiences working for TIUA contributed towards her aspiration to teach in the JET program, she responded, “Working for TIUA and being an International Peer Coach (IPC - orientation leader) was truly an invaluable experience. I cannot express the joy I had with the ASP students or how proud and impressed I was with how quickly their English improved, as well as how immediately involved some of the students were on campus. It was a great feeling to be a part of their growth and helping them through the beginning of new and memorable experiences. I learned many skills through my experiences at TIUA which will become very useful for JET. Furthermore, I became even more eager about returning to Japan to begin working with new students in a different setting and continuing to be a part of their growth and exposure to a culture different than their own.”
Fifty-nine local kids attended this year's Kaneko Day Camp (KDC) in August and it was a big success! KDC is a 4-day cultural camp put on by students in the American Studies Program at TIUA who serve as camp counselors and teachers. They spend many hours planning out the class content and activities and creating the necessary accompanying materials. The hallways were decorated, as well as the various classrooms. The camp started August 6 with check-in and soon all the campers had met their teachers and were having fun getting to know about Japan. There were classes in origami, songs, games, language, calligraphy, and dance.
On Thursday, the last day of camp, parents and other family members came to walk around and visit the classrooms to see the work that the campers had done, enjoy bento lunches, and watch the campers perform some dances.
Click here to see a photo gallery from the camp!