寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

Let’s Enjoy Dancing and Physical Activities to the Fullest!: Kids Dance Lessons for Gakudo Children in Minamisoma City (September 18, 2013)

For two days on August 8 and 9, 2013, Kids Dance Lessons were provided at 15 After-school Children’s Clubs (13 managed by Minamisoma City and two by the Council of Social Welfare). They had both a morning and an afternoon session on each day, making a total of four sessions. A total of 228 children and 24 instructors took part in these activities.

 

These lessons were conducted as a part of the Fukushima Susumu Project launched by Suntory Holdings and Save the Children Japan (SCJ). People from the Japan Association of Kids Coaching (JAKC) were invited as instructors, and the Minamisoma City Board of Education sponsored the lessons. The purpose of this event was to help the children of Minamisoma’s After-school Children’s Clubs to fully enjoy physical activities, while also interacting with children from different schools and clubs. The lessons started with an ice-breaking game to relax the minds and bodies of the participating children.

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Children were connected one to another in the “paper-scissor-rock” train. In a game to group them, they had an opportunity to interact with new friends.

 

Through the ice-breaking game, children were divided into four groups: peach, apple, shaved ice and banana. Then they started dance practice. At the beginning, they anxiously imitated the young dancing instructors. However, by repeatedly practicing with the music they started to move more naturally. Each group decided their own signature pose by themselves.

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Children decided their cool signature pose together and danced to it with music!

 

At the end of the lesson, each group presented their dance performance on stage. Everyone was dancing proudly, making it difficult for us to believe that it was a performance they had just learned for the first time that day. Some of the gakudo instructors almost broke into tears of joy, “It is amazing to see that children can concentrate on one thing this much!”

 

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Children enjoyed dancing on stage. They were not nervous at all!

 

Following the children’s performances, to show gratitude for all their hard work, the JAKC instructors presented their own dances, which created additional excitement.

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Instructors presented their excellent dance performance as a gift to the children

 

It was very hot on these days, but thanks to the cooperation of the nursing staff from Minamisoma City who managed the health of the children, the event ended without any major trouble.

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A commemorative photo with all the participants

 

After the lessons, children said to the instructors, “Are you coming back again tomorrow?” and “Don’t leave!” They were reluctant to part from the instructors, and we could see that they had enjoyed the lessons so much. One child also enthused, “Let’s bring our dances back home!”, and most likely showed his parents that night the dances he had learned.

 

In Fukushima Prefecture, due to the earthquake and nuclear power plant accidents, playing spaces for children are restricted. This is causing increased stress and severely reduces the children’s physical activities. SCJ will give our continuous support to expanding children’s playing and learning opportunities for their healthy growth in this difficult environment.