The 18th Volunteer Spirit Award was granted to the student council of Ishinomaki Municipal Kadonowaki Junior High School.
This award aims at developing the spirit of volunteerism among junior-high-school and high-school students by parsing volunteer activities, promoting exchanges with other students, and letting other students know more about volunteer activities.
The criteria for deciding the winner of the award are contribution to communities, creativity, ability to make a plan and execute it out, leadership, and what was learned and felt. These criteria are examined synthetically.
Kadonowaki Junior High School admits the graduates of Ishinomaki Municipal Kadonowaki Elementary School and Omachi Elementary School. The school districts where the two elementary schools are located were severely hit by the tsunami, and in particular Kadonowaki Elementary School was burn down. The tsunami and following fire have left the whole districts including Minamicho town completely changed, and the town looked like “a deserted city” in the students’ eyes who used to live there. “We hope to make a flowerbed in our inflicted school’s playground and make people happy with flowers of many different colors,” that was what they thought, for many people around the country came to Kadonowaki Elementary School to check on the disaster damage..
【Burned-out building and playground of Kadonowaki Elementary School】
The teachers of the school consulted with the city board of education to realize the students’ idea, but they were told it was difficult to set up a flowerbed in the school premises because the reconstruction plan of the school had yet to be made. JEN helped “the students in the most affected city, Ishinomaki, take the initiative in cheering communities.” JEN rented a vacant lot a short distance back from the school and removed rubbles, weeds and litters from the lot to prepare soil for flowers.
In November 2012, many local people and volunteers cooperated in making a flowerbed and planting tulip bulbs. A surprising number of flowers imbued with the students’ hope bloomed next spring. In the autumn of 2013, the flowerbed was taken over from the second graders who first came up with the idea to the first graders.
【107 students in the second grade and volunteers who helped the students】
【In May 2013 flowers bloomed in all their beauty.】
The Volunteer Spirit Award was to reward the students for their efforts to revitalize communities. No doubt Ishinomaki’s future leaders who bear its reconstructions are growing. JEN continues grooming future leaders.
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