Marines provide support to English camp for junior high students

Marines provide support to English camp for junior high students

by Ike Hirayasu

NAGO CITY, Okinawa, Japan -- The English Education Development Organization held an English camp for local junior high school students at the central community hall on Aug. 11 in Nago City.

The EEDO annual English camp, organized by the Nago City Board of Education, marked its sixth occurrence this year. In support of the English camp, Marines, sailors and their families from Camps Schwab, Courtney, Hansen and Foster gathered at the hall, led by Camp Schwab Commanding Officer Col. Jason S. D. Perry.

Thirty-one students from seven junior high schools in the city, and 28 volunteers from military community gathered in attendance. All participants were divided into six groups.

They played the telephone game and a word association game where students tried to guess objects which Americans described in English. Through playing the games, the students and Americans began to open up to each other.

Miss. Uehara, a Yabu junior high school student who participated in the camp once before, said "I did not know anybody in my group so I was a little nervous, but everyone around me made it comfortable by talking to me, so I was ok."

Everyone in the camp moved to the cafeteria at noon, and each group sat and had lunch together.

After the lunch break, EEDO members and volunteers performed "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in both Japanese and English, and afterward each group had to create sequels to perform.

Miss. Sawada, a Omiya junior high school student and first-time participant in the English camp, said "I participated in the camp because I am interested in English and it was difficult but enjoyable.” She was chosen as a best female performer in her group’s skit.

Some groups performed seriously, and others performed humorously, all displaying their teamwork.

“It's a great opportunity for Marines to get out and interact with Japanese hosts, and it is also a great opportunity for Japanese students to interact with us and overcome language and cultural barriers to know get to know one another on a more personal level,” said Perry. "The relationships between countries were built through the relationships between individuals. It's very important to foster our relationships and I will continue to support it.”

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