SMILE English

SMILE Vol. 8 August 18, 2018 (H30)

Sixty-Two Days of Summer Vacation Has Ended. Let’s Get a Fresh Start!

“Each student will grow and be more matured when you return to school in two months!” This is what I wrote in the last edition of “Smile (Vol. 7)” issued on June 16. During the summer, a number of life threatening disasters were reported almost everyday, including the torrential rain and landslides in western Japan, severe damages caused by one typhoon after another, extreme heat wave and record-breaking high temperatures in Japan, etc. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who were affected by these frightening events.
Even here in the Philadelphia area, our smartphones were continuously delivering flood warnings and emergency alerts these past few weeks. I hope all students and their families remained safe.
The long summer vacation is over, and laughters and giggle have returned to Friends’ Central. Did you have a productive summer? Were you able to achieve the goals you established prior to the summer? Did you have a healthy summer? And did you complete all homework? I bet everyone is fine.
The second semester is being started. I hope you are willing to continue to challenge yourself to accomplish your new goals. I look forward to seeing you grow further!

SMILE Vol. 7 June 16, 2018 (H30)

Looking forward to seeing you in two months!

It is getting warm these days and I can feel that summer is almost here. And do you know what that means? Yes! The summer break starts next week!! We will be having Suikawari, a watermelon splitting game, to celebrate the end of our first semester. We have to have it in the summer, right? I’m sure you had a lot of great memories of Suikawari when you were growing up in Japan. And in this long summer break it is a good time for the kids to spend time going back their books to review what they have learned so far the past couple of months. Also it is a great time to explore their interests and enjoy a lot of fun activities. But I want you to remember many accidents would happen in summer time. Thus please make sure your kids are being safe during this summer break and I’m looking forward to seeing them in two months! I’m sure they will experience many things and some of them might become bigger
and suddenly hard to recognize!

Also I would like to thank all of wonderful parents who’ve been helping this school. We had a great first semester which was very smooth, no issues or accidents so I really appreciate your generous support of the school and the children. I hope you and your family have an amazing summer and see you in mid-August!

SMILE Vol. 6 June 10, 2018 (H30)

Grow the Body and Soul with “Experiential Activity” Over the Summer Break


After the end of today’s (10th) and the classes on the 16th, our awaited summer break starts. Some children may already have their minds half away, with thoughts of the mountains, the beaches, recreation centers, or overseas.
The duration of the summer break in Japan is about a month, but here in the U.S., it is an extended break, about twice as long. Summer breaks are fun for everyone but depending on how one spends it, it can result in large differences in growth. Don’t drag the days with unscheduled time, and instead create schedules for daily routines and plan out the two-month long break. Especially, incorporate many “experiential activities” such as getting in touch with nature, trying out a new sport, or participating in a volunteer program. Matters that one witnesses, touches, and feels with the body gives us “strength to live” and nurtures our body and soul to grow. Don’t spend too long in the air-conditioned indoors but make sure to go outside and break a sweat.

SMILE Vol. 4 May 26, 2018 (H30)

A sports day should be held in fall or spring

In my childhood a sports day was held always at autumn. It was an event symbolic of autumn.
An autumn has a lot of fruits and we could eat persimmons, pears grapes and chestnuts at lunch time. It was a great fun. We had firecrackers at the beginning and the last “Hail Cheers”, all day long, exciting. It was a festival of the region.
Well, recently more schools are being held in spring than in autumn. The reason is that there are more junior high schools and high schools that decide the transition in spring in preparation for the exam. Summer is tough, they are worried about typhoons and rain. The advantages of the spring, especially in May, the children can have the experience of a sense of accomplishment and an achievement. And also May has a lot of sunny days. They might have a strong friendship with friends at that time.
Are you a spring people or autumn people? I am very old man therefor I have a very stubborn and I have had the idea that a sports day should have at autumn.
It’s fun to move your body and it’s a very meaningful to work together to accomplish one thing. I wish the children would be able to show their shinning appearance and a lot of smiles.

SMILE Vol.3 May 19, 2018 (H30)

Recognized co-existent with nature through the Volcano

Hawaii volcano from Kilauea erupted and it is in the news every day. Every time I see the picture of the eruption, I have indescribable feelings. I grew up at the bottom of Mt. Aso which is an active volcano. Mt. Aso erupted time to time and I had scary experiences every time that happened. However we also experienced the benefits of the volcano. It could be a beautiful scenery and there could be also some hot springs. Also the land that was created by the lave and gravel provide people a living space and provide crops from the soil through underground water. In the long history, people face the nature like volcano and co-existed with their knowledge’s.

SMILE Vol.2 May 13, 2018 (H30)

Energized by Fresh Spring Green

While I was driving, I realized that Philadelphia is a city with lots of green. I am a little sad that the Sakura came to an end, however, “Fresh spring green” is right there and giving me energy. Sakura makes everyone happy, but just like Sakura, this fresh green is attractive by giving us Peace and lots of energy. School has already past its first month. The students are getting used to the new school environment and are starting to focus on their studies. I hope the spring green will give them a lot of energy.

SMILE Vol.1 May 5, 2018 (H30)

Let’s keep smiling just like the title of the newsletter.

It is still a little bit cold in the morning but it is definitely starting to feel more and more like spring every day. Hello, my name is Eiji Kudo. I am the new principal starting April 7th. When I was in Japan, I was also a principal at an elementary school and I created a newsletter called “Smile”. This makes me feel very close to the newsletter at JLSP already. I believe smiling is critical to good communication. I always ask teachers to smile at their students when going to classes. I apologize for not keeping this schedule last month. [Smile] will be issued on a weekly basis as before and I really hope you enjoy reading it.

SMILE Vol.37 March 10, 2018 (H30)

Raising children with sympathy, thoughtfulness, kindness

Children with sympathy, thoughtfulness, and kindness, can be developed only through humanly activities that require a lot of time. Nobody teaches you how to do that. Human children are said to grow mimicking people around them. I am sure you have heard of the story of a child who was raised by wolves. The child learned to walk with two arms and two legs just like human babies. Likewise, the child ate like wolves, and was not able to speak a human language, but learned to howl just like wolves. This proves that humans have the huge ability to learn.
If children did not grow the sympathy, thoughtfulness, and kindness, it would be sad and unfortunate, but it may be because of an environment without adults to look up to. It really is unfortunate for the children, but the adults around them might have lost such humanity.

SMILE Vol.36 March 3, 2018 (H30)

Little by little, I gradually become “me”.

” Every single human being is not born to this world as ” me ” from the beginning, yet each of us would probably gradually become ” me ” little by little. Each of us accepts ” me as I am ” and eventually will create more desirable “me as I am”. ”
The birth of a person is the beginning of a journey of searching for himself/herself.
Life can be joyful, but at times life can be painfully hard. Also, there might be times that we run into inevitable ordeals. Through these times, each of us ultimately create a new “me” by overcoming one thing after another while getting help from friends, teachers, siblings and/or family. There are times that we might get frustrated. Let’s accept it as a currently evolving form of “me as I am”. We could live with confidence if we simply acknowledge “me”.