May 28, 2020

March 2020 Mini Grants

THREE ORGANIZATIONS WERE AWARDED MINI GRANTS

Sakura Kai in El Cerrito, CA received a grant to purchase Taiko drums

Sakura Kai Senior Center needed new equipment to expand its taiko program which provides opportunities for seniors to both stay physically fit and provide an educational component to the community. In 2005, the group obtained a grant to purchase eight small wooden and eight small plastic drums for 16 students. Fast forward 15 years and taiko has become increasingly more popular as an artform and as a means to stay physically fit. This group allows students to learn and practice at a comfortable pace and makes allowances for those with disabilities. Rather than continually turn away new students, a new class has been created for enthusiastic students. With our Grant, they will purchase new drums which will allow them to grow their program and have more drummers available to perform at community events. 

Learn more about Sakura Kai at http://www.sakurakaiec.org/.

Photo: Courtesy of Sakura Kai.

Go for Broke

The Go for Broke National Education Center in Los Angeles received a grant to update their website.

The Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) website has an out-of-date website design, programming and technology. Our grant will fund the hiring of a professional website designer to develop a timely working plan and help create a framework for changing their site over time.  In particular, a better integration of educational programming and resources, as well as their online store and online payment options. The goal is to strengthen their website capacity and ability to share the legacy and valor of our Japanese American WWII veterans.

Learn more about Go for Broke at http://www.goforbroke.org/

KIZUNA

Kizuna in Los Angeles received a Grant to establish “Kizuna Connect”, which brings educational and culturally relevant programming to children age four to twelve, and community engagement to adolescents and young adults.

Using tools including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Zoom video conferencing, and other online platforms, they will provide content focusing on Japanese culture through picture book readings, letter exchanges with seniors, simple science experiments, craft ideas, and cooking videos. The spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent “Stay At Home” order for the state of California created a need for online engagement and programming in the community. Since LAUSD and many other school districts have closed, parents are homeschooling their children for the first time while simultaneously working from home. While many educational platforms are offering free content and lesson plans, the parents are also looking for culturally relevant content. Many of their families attend Japanese school and participate in community cultural events. Staying at home means that their children are missing out on formative Japanese, and Japanese American community experiences. With our Grant to Kizuna, they will utilize their skills in curriculum development and their knowledge of the social media landscape to address this need in their community. Kizuna believes that by creating online spaces for our community to connect virtually, they will keep their bonds strong and provide each other the support they need.

Learn more about Kizuna at https://www.gokizuna.org/