June 2020 Newsletter!

June 2020 Newsletter!

Dear JDLI Family,

Gattsu-pōzu (ガッツポーズ)  We made it to summer! It’s been a time of great disappointments and at the same time, many silver linings. As an ONK Board, never have we made so many gut-wrenching and heartbreaking decisions. Cancelling our inbound and outbound exchanges, our beloved community events like Westwind, and finally our summer programming through Kurabu – none of it has been easy.

Gakusei (学生)  We are reminded daily of the life experiences that should be happening to our students now. It may be a calendar reminder that pops up for a flight to Kansai that your students should have been on or a friend posts a facebook memory of a cultural exchange from years past. Or we find a missing crane that our student made for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and the JRR. Or you are a host family anxiously awaiting the news of your intern who will be a mentor and tutor to our students.

Gaman (我慢)  In Japanese there is a perfect word for these times, to pause and take a deep breath and prepare for what comes next as we will endure. We hope that as the course of COVID 19 in the state of Oregon becomes clearer, we’ll have more answers for what this fall for PPS will look like and what the new “normal” will be for this next school year. In preparation for whatever changes come our way, and with our internship program in flux and our exchanges uncertain, we are evaluating how ONK can best evolve and adapt to serve this amazing K-12 JDLI community. 

Ganbaru (頑張る)  As one example of adapting, we are finding and seeking opportunities to fulfill our mission closer to home through Virtual Kurabu (in partnership with the Richmond PTA) and the Distance Learning Support Portal. We now have over 200 students participating in the conversation classes between older and younger students in a tutor program led by this community’s very own Tammy Toyoda. Our community has never failed to rise to a challenge and 2020-21 will not be the year that we do so.

Gimu (義務) Regarding equity issues challenges within PPS, as a privileged community we have an obligation and duty to the greater cause and we will continue to look for ways where we can be part of the solution and not the problem. It will take some serious self-reflection, but we will continue to look for ways we can contribute to the larger PPS dual language immersion community. We invite you to speak up and sign up to help us as we rise to this time and new challenge.

JDLI Promotion Ceremonies

A big thank you to all the parents, teachers, and volunteers who helped to facilitate meaningful JDLI promotion ceremonies for graduating students this year. The 5th grade students were treated to a very special drive-by parade, cheered on by Richmond teachers and staff!  Our 8th grade teachers hosted a very special Google Meets ceremony, marking the first ever formal 8th grade JDLI promotion ceremony!  Lastly, ONK hosted a Zoom graduation ceremony for our graduating seniors, highlighted by recorded video messages from past principals and teachers all the way from their pre-kindergarten year! 

Congratulations to Kirk Dibert, recipient of the very first Owen Klinger Scholarship Award, nominated for his quiet leadership and support of others, reminiscent of Owen’s own character.  Many, many volunteers worked hard to make these ceremonies happen. Thank you to all for helping to mark these momentous events during this difficult time.

Distance Learning Support Portal

In late spring, we began collecting Japanese language learning resources that might be useful to your family and contacting potential tutors willing to provide paid or donated tutoring services to JDLI students. We are so very grateful to ONK parent Tammy Toyoda for initiating a very successful peer-to-peer conversation program to connect older JDLI students with younger students for virtual language learning. You can find information about Tammy’s Japanese Conversation Partner Program, the Community-Sourced Japanese Learning Resource Database, and the Japanese Tutors Database at www.oyanokai.org/portal.

Please email info@oyanokai.org if you have any suggestions for Oya No Kai as we strive to support language learning outside of the classroom.

Virtual Kurabu!

A giant thank you to the Richmond PTA for securing a COVID-Relief Funding Grant from the National PTA to provide a virtual Kurabu camp this summer. We are in the planning stages, and will send out more detailed information soon, but we are working with the camp directors to offer a limited virtual Kurabu experience to campers the last week in July and the first two weeks in August. 

We are in need of a Zoom Manager who has experience with Zoom webinars, and preferably has some experience with children’s camps. Please contact info@oyanokai.org if you or someone you know may be interested in this position.

Intern Update!

We currently have 10 interns that are scheduled to arrive at the end of August. ONK is in close communication with PPS as more information becomes available regarding the strategy for the Fall 2020 school opening, including district guidelines for interns or assistants in the classroom. Both PPS and ONK will also monitor CDC and State Department recommendations regarding international internship programs for the fall.

Additionally, in light of yesterday’s visa restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, we are reviewing applicability to our intern program.

We will be in close touch with host families as we learn more.


We are also looking for host families for the next set of interns that are scheduled to arrive Feb/March 2021. If your family is interested, please contact Yoko Niki-Breyfogle at yoko.breyfogle@oyanokai.org to learn more and start the application process.

A Million Thank Yous

One thing we don’t take for granted is all the people who make our program what it is. The list is really long, but our program wouldn’t be what it is without all these amazing contributors. Many hours were spent on trips that didn’t happen or fundraisers that will be used for a future trip. Performances were choreographed that will not be seen. But we see you, we are so grateful.  A million thank yous!

ONK Board Members and Staff
Sean Egusa, Sara DeLuca, Peter Bilotta, Tricia Waineo, Andrea Obana, Joan Cromwell, Yumi Wong, Chris Dodge, Courtney Knudson, Keri Moran-Kuhn, Saori Clark, Chika Saeki, Kara Coffee, Yoko Niki-Breyfogle, Rodney Johnson, Ryoko Rollin, Bryan Funatake

At-Large Volunteers
Amy Starr Thomas, Matt Giacomini, Victoria Winkle, Jon Zaeer, Keeley Plombon, Mari Ka, Sara Tam, Tammy Toyoda, Adam Day, Jen Dahlin, Greg Byrd, Jason Setera , John Baumgartner

2019-2020 Host Families
DeLuca Family, Casoni/Targosz Family, Moran-Kuhn Family, Hall/Olsen Family, Fraley Family, Stein Family, Knight-King Family, Kysar/Rondini Family, Thompson Family, Gallagher/McWhorter Family, Henry/Chiang Family, Dacey Family, Beyler Family, Carlson Family, Wiley Family, Hickey Family, Poplarchik/Catoe-Ganahl Family, Hopkins Family, Ruttan Family, Allen Family, Lanier Family, Nakada Family, Rengert/Guggenheim Family, Blau/Telerant Family, Day Family, Winkle Family, Powers/Kai Family, Kennedy/Doherty Family, Keith Family, Stuczynski Family, Truong/Ichikawa Family

Hospitality Committee
Tara Hieggelke (lead), Emily Jinnah, Christine Gray, Grey Byrd, Jasmin Catoe-Ganal, Andrea Obana, Sara DeLuca, Miriam Carreno, Betty Izumi, Adam Day, Ann Shintani, Kathy Pickle

Hoa Chiang, Paul Nist

 5th Grade Cultural Exchange Committee

Christine Hanolsy (lead), Jen Dahlin (lead), Shuli Rutzick (lead), Sara Wright, Heidi Vanderhoof, Cynthia Britton, Tami Haldors, Melissa Kuser, Christine Hanolsy, Peter Maris, Emily Michel, Michael Elliott, Faith Dawson, Ashley Parkinson, Jason Lathrop, and Sionainn Marcoux

2020 8th Grade Parent Ministry Advisors
Salina Wood, Yukiji Saito, Junko Iijima, Morgan Kunze, Tami Haldors, Saori Clark, Marisa Thyken, Amy Seaholt, Peter Bilotta, Jen MacFarland, Yuko Schnell, Shirley Tran, Malu Wilkinson, Kyoko Endo-Zuch, Jinah Nakaji, Edie Leonard, Ilyse Ring, Shannon Bromenschenkel, Jeff Hopper, Scott Myers, Karen Tingey

Auction Volunteers
Andre Salcido, Victoria Winkle, Jill Palmer, Jen Dahlin, Courtney Knudson, Jason Setera, Nancy Setera, Tricia Waineo,  Lisa Schroeder, Colleen Case, Caryn Anderson, Larry Iishi, Margaret Iishi,  Kelly Thompson, Bergren Rameson, John DeClerck, Yuki Sugahara, Morgan Bolton, Samantha Levine, Dona Monroe, Corina Hammer, Luke Hammer, Aaron Piland, Cory Knudson, Dani Ga, Jamie Uyeda, Mark Uyeda, Kathy Black, Matt Giacomini, Shuli Rutzick, Krista Kennedy, Illyse Ring, Whitney Frisch, Amanda Lerch, Kay Spielman, Cynthia Gladen, Mike Salmon, Nancel Otsuka, Jeff Bolton, Heidi Linn, Chris Dodge, Cindy Gunderson, Alexia Zervinis, Shanna Tani, Polly Linn, Akiko Gates, Junko Iijima, Yuko Schnell, Cassandra Kennedy, Shannon Bromenschenkel, Declan Bilotta, Finn Bilotta, Ann Shintani, Devin Tani, Jason Lathrop, Scott Moran, Tara Hieggelke, Bonnie Zedayan, Sarah Sanderling, Corey Hope Leaffer, Suzanne Effros, Becca Werlin, Heidi Vandenhoof, Rian Vandenhoof, Holly Telerant, Rob Telerant, Carolanne Wipfli, Meghan Maris, Christine Moore, Jasmin Catoe-Ganahl, Joan Cromwell, Heather Hollern, Sara Tam

Auction Art Volunteers

Greg Byrd, Takahiro Moriki
Kindergarten:  Megan Chouinard, Dan Ozbörne, Sarah Sanderling, Haruka Takanuma, Justus Wallen and Yuki Wallen; 1st Grade:: Amanda Lerch, Nicole Kraft, Beth Slovic, Ellen Schiller, Vanessa Curry; 2nd Grade: Kyle Bell, Kristen Lindquist, Polly Linn, Mike Arras, Emily Dixon Price, Kamla Hurst, Brian Eustis; 3rd Grade: Mona Nakato, Yukiko Meyden; 4th Grade: Colleen Case, Bergren Rameson, Kelly Thompson; 5th Grade: Ryan Pence, Mazana Bruggeman