Medaka no Gakko is a parent cooperative Japanese culture summer program for children who have completed grades K-6. The school was established in 1982 by a group of teachers and parents living in the Bay Area who were interested in promoting awareness of Japanese-American history and Japanese culture within the community. Their goal was to help children gain an appreciation for the diversity of lifestyles that make up our society today.
The mission of Medaka is to convey the customs, values, aesthetics and approach to life of the Japanese heritage. The classroom environment is designed to encourage and guide children in the development of a self-image. A dedicated team of teachers provides a curriculum rich, hands-on learning experiences within the areas of art, music literature, cooking, social studies, language and history.
The school’s philosophy reflects those values, which characterize the Japanese way of life: group harmony, conservation of resources, respect for elders, and cooperative effort.
The cornerstone of Medaka is parent participation and support. Parents function as classroom aides by preparing materials and providing individual attention to children when needed. Parents assist with school maintenance, fundraising activities, and special events(s) such as a luncheon for the Tomonikai, the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple seniors group and the Medaka students’ grandparents. The Executive Board, which administers the school, offers parents a unique opportunity to apply their talents in affecting the overall operation of the program. Parents and children together find friendship and support from an extended network of Medaka families.