Help Yuko's School Children

My name is Darryl Baker and I have been working as a consultant and designer for a couple of years with Yuko Uchikoshi and her new school in Tokyo, Japan called Origami Language Lab. She has a great concept; teaching daily conversation to help young children and adults overcome their fear of speaking with the many foreigners who travel to Japan.

Yuko’s school, Origami Language Lab, offers scholarships and grants to those who need it the most, but she needs your help.

The push, from the government, for more English education has been vocalized, but the methods haven’t changed. Origami Language Lab is improving Japan’s English education practices and we want to show how it will benefit all of its citizens. We want this movement to grow in Japan and for it to become a step in a new and improved direction in English education around the world. Yuko is looking to expand the schools ability to help by creating a community English lab that helps everyone withe their English by using the unique new methods Origami has to offer.

This is a huge challenge since the Japanese government does not offer social assistance for these types of educational programs. NPO groups using fundraising methods such as this one are the way forward. I am asking for your help so Yuko and Origami can continue to grow.

Why did she start the school?
Yuko and Origami have created an affordable alternative to learning English, helping those, in Japan, looking for a better way or just an opportunity at learning a much needed skill. Currently the Japanese government is serious about its desire to have more of its citizens speaking English, but it is not seriously invested in changing their teaching methods or funding after school programs that are too expensive for most of its citizens anyway.

Why do we need your help?

Yuko is looking to continue and expand the school into a full fledged community language lab which offers everyone English lessons plus financial aid and grants to attend the programs for qualifying families. The new school year has just begun in Japan but she has run out of her initial funding for the scholarship program and this is why Origami needs your help. She will have to stop the program since she is currently operating on a loss.

Only 1 in 4 children of single parent households ever go to college in Japan and English proficiency is the proverbial equalizer in this case. Japan’s conservative views on family structure tend to keep this issue almost hidden and the only recourse for aid and educational funding are a handful of private groups who reach out to help the under privileged citizens, but they are few and far between. Yuko looks to gain official NGO (non-government organization) status this year.

Why is this important?
The more the world gets connected, by technology and the global economy, the more exaggerated Japan’s language issue will become. It is already apparent with the upcoming Olympics in 2020. Japan is pushing its citizens to learn English and is encouraging earlier education, but what they are not doing is helping fund new approaches and schools like Origami. While doing research Yuko learned of different ways to teach English to her half American son. She found countless studies that solidified her beliefs that the usual methods offered in the vast majority of Japan’s schools was outdated and nearly ineffective.

What do we plan to do?
Help Yuko spread the word about the Origami Language Lab and its new English education methods across Japan. We have a visual marketing campaign strategy and an award winning media production team poised to help us get started. This will cost an estimated $20,000 USD. We also need additional funds to support the materials, and subsequent costs that go along with supporting and continuing the much needed scholarship program.


More About Yuko and Origami's philosophy…
Origami Language Lab was founded by Yuko on the premise that the English language is crucial to the ongoing success of Japan’s standing as a global leader, however, the youth of the country are not getting the best educational opportunities in regards to the language. English retention and speaking confidence are extremely low and the issue is getting worse. Japan also has an increasing wage gap and a poverty problem that especially hurts single parent households. Many families can’t afford to send their children to the extracurricular schools (juku) that have been the standard hubs of advanced education in Japan. Yuko’s plan is to offer more focused and effective methods that defy common myths about bilingual education in Japan, such as one language should be used at home. As stated previously, Yuko found countless studies that solidified her beliefs about usual methods taught in the vast majority of Japan’s schools being nearly ineffective. She is currently studying to get her teaching degree so she can join her staff to cut cost for all her students.

Origami’s goal is to bridge the gap that the current system in Japan creates between grammatical knowledge and language proficiency. They offer children up to age 12 (the developmental years) an interactive way of teaching the English language. The also have adult classes. The curriculum is designed to make communication the focus, eliminating the anxiety of making mistakes. She focuses on children of all backgrounds reserving a significant percentage to help underprivileged children who suffer the most from the stagnant economy and an overcrowded job pool.

Japan’s reliance on the global market demands that its workforce speak English in some capacity. The individuals who can speak English have far better opportunities in the job market and on the career ladder. The stagnant wages and demand on the time of single parent households puts their children at a severe disadvantage and Yuko strives to help even the playing field by helping as many children as possible with a better way of learning English.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about this great school and for your support.

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Darryl Baker 
Henderson, NV
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