Oya No Kai, Inc.
PO Box 13786
Portland, OR 97213
About the Board
The Oya No Kai board consists of eleven members, all of whom are parents of students in the Japanese Immersion Program at one or more of our schools (Richmond Elementary, Mt. Tabor Middle, Grant High). We are volunteers who believe in the importance of bilingual, immersion education and global citizenship.
We welcome participation in Oya No Kai by all program parents. General meetings are scheduled throughout the year. Board meetings are held once a month. Please contact us if you are interested in serving on our board. Scroll down to learn about our strategic plan.
2020 – 2021 Board Members 役員. – board[at]oyanokai[dot]org
Co-Presidents: Saori Clark, Sean Egusa, Keri Moran-Kuhn
Vice-President: Peter Bilotta
Treasurer: Tricia Waineo
Secretary: Joan Cromwell
Communications: Suzanne Pardington Effros
Auction: Yumi Wong
Events/Hospitality: Andrea Obana & Yukiji Saito
Fundraising/Merchandising: Courtney Knudson
Education Support: Adam Day & Yukiji Saito
Human Resources: Chet Nakada
Richmond Elementary Liaison: Saori Clark & Keri Moran-Kuhn
5th Grade Trip Point: Saori Clark
Mt Tabor Middle School Liaison & 8th Grade Trip Point: Chika Saeki
Grant High School Liaison & SSI Point: Kara Coffey
Westwind (Ex-officio): Paul Nist
Advisory: Sara Tam, John Baumgardner
JRR Support: Amy Starr Thomas
Scip: Victoria Winkle
Bike Fleet: Jon Zaerr
Accountant: Keeley Plombon(Ivey Jacobson & Co)
Medical: Dr. Mari Ka
Dentist: Adrienne Fischl (Laurelhurst Dentistry)
5th Grade Cultural Exchange Trip Coordinator: Alison Walcott
English Language and Culture Instructor: Rodney Johnson
Sapporo Summer Institute Coordinator: Natsuko Ishibuchi
About Oya No Kai
Oya No Kai’s mission is to enhance the level of cultural education in the Japanese Immersion Program at Portland Public Schools. We support student success by fostering a robust intern program that supports our teachers, by creating opportunities for students to experience Japanese culture directly through cultural exchanges, and by organizing community events. It is our hope that when our students graduate, they will be better prepared and more knowledgeable of the world around them.
Motto: Three Schools, Two Languages, One Community
Equity and Inclusion: We celebrate and embrace the diversity made possible by race, ethnicity, gender identity, ancestry, place of origin, color, citizenship, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, political affiliation and ability.
Oya No Kai, which means “Parent Group” in Japanese, was formed in 1989 by parents to serve the children and their families, and staff of the Japanese Magnet Program (JMP) of Portland Public Schools (now referred to as the “Japanese Dual Language” or “Japanese Immersion” Program). In the first years when it was a magnet program at Richmond Elementary, parents recognized that because students came from all parts of the city to attend the school, there was a need to build a sense of community and establish networking among families to ensure success of the educational program.
In 1992, Oya No Kai formed a board of directors, developed a committee structure, and formulated a mission statement with goals and objectives. Oya No Kai became incorporated in 1993 and in 1997, gained non-profit status.
Today, we have up to 20 interns in any given year and over 1000 students in the program. We have twelve Board of Directors and contracted service providers to manage our Intern and Cultural Exchange programs and instruct interns in English and culture classes.
Programs and Activities プログラムとアクティビティ
To achieve our goals, Oya No Kai:
- Fundraises for the Intern Program and Cultural Exchanges.
- Financially supports the Intern Program which provides teaching assistants in all Japanese classrooms.
- Provides planning and financial support for the 5th grade Cultural Exchange, 8th Grade Research Residency, and High School Summer Institute.
- Creates community awareness of the Japanese Immersion Program.
- Promotes home-stay experiences within our schools’ community.
- Sponsors and coordinates Kurabu, a summer Japanese language and culture day camp.
- Sponsors and coordinates Camp Westwind for Japanese Immersion families.
- Coordinates visits to our schools from our Japanese sister city schools.
- Participates in community events such as Richmond’s Spring Festival, and Uwajimaya Summer Festival.
In Spring 2013, Oya No Kai was awarded $10,800 from Meyer Memorial Trust for organizational and board development. Our consultant, Carri Munn from Solid Ground Consulting, worked with the board over an initial period of 8 months. This included board retreats, Strategic Plan and Board Development committees, and board trainings. The final result was the creation of a Strategic Plan and Work Plan, a reformulated Board Manual, new mission statement, and Committee Charters. These finished products were revealed and put to use with the new board of 2014 – 2015.
Oya No Kai would like to thank the generosity of the Meyer Memorial Trust for awarding us with this grant; Richmond parent, Cynthia Gladen, who researched and wrote our grant; Carri Munn for expertly guiding and working with us; and the 2013 -2014 Board members who spent many hours developing these new tools.