Since almost a year ago, I have been working with two other mom friends on opening the first Japanese/English bilingual preschool in Brooklyn. We decided to open a new preschool because there is no Japanese preschool/daycare in Brooklyn, even though there are so many Japanese families (Japanese and American or other nationalities mix) in Brooklyn. There are several Japanese schools in Manhattan, many of which are geared towards children who are going back to Japan in the near future. There are many Japanese families in Brooklyn that are staying in the U.S. or moving to countries other than Japan. So, we felt strongly that these young children in Brooklyn need to learn both English and Japanese, but not only to be able speak the language, but also to write and read.
Well, our ambition and motivation was really high, but the actual work involved was a lot more than we expected… None of us has an educational background, so it was tough to start. First we had to learn about licensing and research other preschool/daycares. Then we had to discuss and define what our school’s mission and philosophy are…. Looking for a space, taking CPR and health and safety class, teacher hunting, scheduling, advertising, and etc… Me and one of my mom partners are working moms (the other partner was taking a break from work – thank God!), so there have been many many sleepless nights. Our once a week meeting at a neighborhood restaurant turned into that, plus a twice a week video conference, and then turned into frequent emergency 3 way conference call…
But anyway, all the work we put in finally paid off. Our NYS license inspection was passed. So, the first bilingual preschool, AOZORA GAKUEN was officially opened on September 4, 2012.
As I explained above, it is definitely not easy to go through all the steps to open a preschool physically and financially. Each of us has contributed an equal amount of money to start; however, the more we learn about health and safety, the more items we need and more work we have to do. Also in order not to compromise our educational philosophy, we need to spend extra money to buy compatible toys, cooking materials, etc. Our school is not a Non-Profit organization but we are barely making profit. In fact, all of us (founding moms) are paying the same tuitions as the other enrolled families. From a business point of view, this is not a profitable business; but our cause is not for making money. Our cause is to provide a better education not only for our own kids, but also for our neighborhood kids. So, I would like to kindly ask you to donate any affordable, reasonable amount of money to our school to make it substantial, one of a kind global Japanese/English bilingual preschool.
To donate by check, please make a check payable to “Aozora Gakuen, LLC” and send or drop off a check to 316 Carlton Avenue, #1 Brooklyn, NY 11217.
Thank you all for your consideration and cooperation!