Every few years, the langauge immersion programs of Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) system become a target for elimination in an attempt to balance the budget. The JCC of Great Falls ES works with Fox Mill ES (the other Japanese immersion program in FCPS) and local stakeholder organizations, such as Fairfax FLAGS, the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, the Embassy of Japan, etc. to advocate for the preservation of this unique and valued program.
In response to the latest threat to the program, the JCC launched a new advocacy initiaitve called the Japanese Language Education and Resource Network (J-LEARN) to support the preservation and growth of Japanese language education in the Greater Washington DC area. J-LEARN is a coalition of organiers and individuals who want to ensure that a new generation of Americans will always have the opportunity to learn Japanese language and culture in our public schools. We aim to be the resource hub for educators and families interested in supporting and advocating for Japanese language and cultural education in their schools.
While many of us have a strong personal interest or connection with Japan, our goal also is motivated by a strong belief that Japanese language education and knowledge of Japan are essential to America’s future.
We also believe that because of Japan’s great importance to the United States – in foreign policy and national security, in economics and business, and in culture — learning about Japan will always provide opportunities for our children, no matter what their future field of study or occupation.
We came together to form J-LEARN in order to encourage schools in our region to offer Japanese as a foreign language choice. We hope that J-LEARN also will inspire and encourage the creation of other similar advocacy groups throughout the United States.
While we understand the budgetary pressure that local school boards and administrators are under, our goal is to make sure that decisions about Japanese language programs are well-informed. We want to be sure that local schools administrators, school board officials, and parents understand the importance of America’s ties to Japan and the value of Japanese language learning to the next generation of Americans.
If you wish to learn more about us and to be a part of our efforts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about J-LEARN, Click HERE.