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Three years at Willowbrook made my son what he is today
My son, Ryo Abekawa, attended Willowbrookfrom2006 starting from Umi-Class, 2007-2008 in Tsuki-Class, and graduated from Hana-Class in 2009. Through all those years, he was able to spend unforgettably great momentswith professional and enthusiastic teachers, warm friends and families.
There are a variety of advantages that only Willowbrook can offer, but first and foremost, is Willowbrook's well-balancedcurriculum and solid philosophy of education that is nurtured by Ms. Ikuyo Maeda, director and founder of Willowbrook. The Dual Immersion Program, which helps children acquire command in both English and Japanese, is the basic foundation where children learn languages in order to shape their understanding and thoughts through two languages. This is the greatest tool for children to expand themselves in a global perspective. Also through those languages, children are able to learn about math, science, music, art and physical education, so that theyacquire academic perspectives as well. Experiencing this curriculum enabled my son to havea smooth transition to an international kindergarten academically and socially after graduating from Willowbrook. This is the true meaning of foundation and planting the seeds of the wisdom.
Second, although the overall culture and environment of Willowbrook is westernized, there are a lot of uniquely Japanese events that take place such as Omochituki (pounding Mochi=rice cake) in January, Ohanami (cherry-blossom viewing) in March, Hinamatsuri (Dolls'Festival) in May and Imohori (potato digging) in the summer. Of course, we also have Sports Day, Halloween, Christmas and Hanukah, so we could enjoy a true international atmosphere with a lot of fun with teachers, friends and families.
Last but not least, the teachers. All teachers are proud of their contribution,always aiming high, and most importantly they are excited and enjoyhaving fun with the children. There was a very strong trust between teachers and students and they mutually developed new light-bulb ideas, skills, and developed human nature in the safety of the classroom every day. One teacher said to me,"We have the great privilege of unfolding your son's future possibilities every day!"
I should confess that I myself always becomeGenki(warm and high spirit) every time I remember and re-visit Ryo'salbum from each of his years at Willowbrook.
Without his three years at Willowbrook, my son's life would have been a different one, and he, as well as mywife Kaoru and myself, cannot find the best words to express how much we appreciate Willowbrook.
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