in Japan

Elementary and Community

Jean Hino, Elementary Principal

One of CAJ’s core values is “God designed people for community.” We are all a part of many communities inside and outside of school. Students are part of their classroom community, but, in elementary, we have introduced a new way for students to feel included in the larger elementary division.

For many years now, the elementary division has had a Field Day event in May. Traditionally, the day is filled with relays and various competitions, with students competing in teams composed of different grade levels. In 2019, to help build more of a collaborative team, the students were introduced to their Field Day teams at the beginning of the year so students could get to know one another better and work as a team prior to Field Day.

Each group has students from each grade level and two or three staff members who lead the group during the team activity days. The students stay on the same team from year to year and gather together for 30-40 minutes every other month. This year, the staff leaders have been encouraged to plan their own activities. These have included games and service opportunities, such as handing out hot beverages and making thank-you cards.

Here are some responses when students were asked what they enjoy about team activities:

Green team member, “Getting to work as a team and getting to know each other.”

Black team member, “We go places and give stuff like coffee.”

Blue team member, “Friends are there, it’s a good group.”

Black team member, “Secret hand motion. Mrs. Carrell is so funny. Our theme is to love everyone.”

White team member, “Doing games.”

We look forward to continuing this community-building effort and seeing all of the teams encourage and collaborate together to do their best at Field Day.

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