This campaign was always a shot in the dark, but in light of recent events, we would like to be able to teach our children in the fresh air of the forest land we have near our school. As you may know, Corona-virus only thrives in enclosed areas where air circulation is low and is transmitted via droplets in the breath that can hang in the air for up to 3 hours in an enclosed space. To counter this, we would like to move our school outdoors, where the greatest disinfectant we have (the sun and fresh air) can limit the risk to our children and their families.
To do this and still comply with local laws and regulations, we will need to construct a small building for the children to escape the weather, take refuge when sick and otherwise rest. We will also obviously need to build a toilet (Hopefully an Eco-friendly composting type) and a place to properly wash hands and possible wounds. This is also an opportunity to create a completely "Green School" with a low carbon footprint and self-sufficiency in mind.
Since our last post, we have managed to rebuild the fence around the property and just need to obtain a prefab building for indoor activities and toilet facilities. We have been in contact with local suppliers to obtain a used structure to fit our needs for around ¥500,000 yen. This is way beyond what we can afford, so we are reaching out to the families and friends of Berry English for help.
With these new facilities and good weather, we can start the 2020 school year in nature, doing all the things we usually do in school, just in the great outdoors and without the worries that come with the current strain of Corona-virus.
We humbly ask for your assistance and are currently in the process of trying to find financial help from the government or banks as an alternative.
I have always believed that children should experience nature, the bugs, bumpy ground and peace that comes with it from an early age. I would be so happy to be able to do this even at the best of times, let alone with the added benefit of allowing our children and their families relief from the anxiety of the current crisis.
Head of school
With your help, we would like to renovate our plot of land in the local forest with safe equipment and features to encourage investigation, curiosity, interest in nature, independent risk calculation, social skills and physical development. We would also like to be able to build a fence around our area to improve safety and deter garbage dumpers who often come in the night. If possible, we would love to add a roof over our lunch bench to enable us to visit the forest rain or shine and jump in muddy puddles!
Berry English International Childcare Centre is trying to create a nurturing, child-led environment for children living in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan.
We are always struggling with funds to provide safe, engaging and challenging equipment for our children to prove that holistic, play-based approaches work even in a second language setting.
We do not drill or pressure our children to learn English. Instead, we nurture the individual child and help them gain their own personal flavour of English in their own time while making amazing friends and memories along the way.
Unfortunately, this means we must have very small class sizes so that our practitioners can focus on their key children as if they are an extra parent and barely make enough money to support ourselves, let alone fund such a project. Our amazing team works for much less than they deserve but we are trying to make something amazing together.
Any help will be greatly appreciated and I only put this on here as our only option to raise funds. Unfortunately, as a sole proprietor business run by a foreigner in Japan, Our bank options are extremely limited.
Anyone who donates with their name will be put on a memorial plaque at the forest under "People Who Made This Possible". If you are local, you will also be welcome to use the space any time you wish (it is a great BBQ spot and place to take the children at the weekend!).
We have tried our best to make the environment as engaging and fun as we can and please take a look at how our forest area looks at the moment in the video below our land is actually much larger than the space we use right now, we just haven't been able to clear it all out yet: