Mission Statement

Brooklyn Aozora Gakuen provides early childhood education through a well balanced bilingual, Japanese and English, curriculum. The curriculum has been designed especially for children living in a city as cosmopolitan as New York City. Aozora Gakuen creates a joyful experience that supports the healthy growth of the children while also nurturing a warm and well-rounded character. Our emphasis is not only on teaching the children Japanese values, morals and spirit, but also on instilling a world perspective through activities derived from American and international cultures.

Educational Philosophy

Safe Environment

Our first priority is to create a safe environment for the children, giving peace of mind to the parents.

Facilities and Equipment: The school is set up with the children's safety as the priority. We strive to maintain a hygienic environment with the facilities and equipment kept clean and tidy.

Toys:The toys we use are made from high quality natural materials such as wood and cloth. Toys that have trusted third-party endorsement of the child-friendly materials used in their construction.

Food: The snacks we prepare are hand-made from mainly organic natural whole foods such as seasonal fruits and vegetables. Food that contain preservatives and artificial flavorings are not used.

A bilingual Approach

The majority of the school activities will be held in Japanese with about one fifth of the instruction being held in English. For bilingual children who are about to enter American kindergarten, it is important to have a good understanding of English as well as Japanese, therefore have integrated both languages into the curriculum. The two languages will be used separately from each other, as that is considered the most effective learning method. The Japanese activities will be conducted only in Japanese and solely by teachers whose mother tongue is Japanese. Likewise, the English activities will be conducted in English and led by a teacher whose mother tongue is English.

Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity

We believe playing with hands-on creative materials such as blocks and Play-Doh and reading selected books are fundamental learning techniques that enhance the children's imagination and ingenuity. The children develop self-expression through drawing/crafting and develop musical sensibilities by playing different instruments, singing, and dancing.

Self-Esteem / Self-Respect

We believe that understanding each child's character, listening to their individual voices, and giving due praise often, are key to developing a child's self-esteem. We also see that a child develops his/her own self-respect through the experience of succeeding and/or completing something. We teach children to set small goals that they can achieve step by step with patience. Achieving a step leads to the next and ultimately leads to self belief and higher self-esteem. We help build a positive self-image in a warm, nurturing and accepting environment, instead of using negative expressions such as the words, "no", and "don't do that".

Independence / Self-initiative and Cooperativeness

Self-Initiative, which is very important for individual success in America, and cooperativeness, a central Japanese value, are seemingly opposite traits. However, we strongly believe that having both traits in balance is the key to succeeding in this highly competitive country. Therefore, we have created a balanced curriculum with a program where children will learn individually at his/her own pace and another where they will work with others within a group.

Compassion, Consideration, and Thoughtfulness

All Brooklyn Aozora Gakuen classes are mixed-age classes. We believe that a mixed-age setting helps children to embrace diversity, respect others and display empathy. They learn caring and sharing though interacting with one another in a mixed-aged environment. For example older children help younger children and experience the joy of helping others.

Appreciation of Nature and Life

We learn the value of life through our own individual experiences. Through gardening and nurturing small animals, our children learn the happiness of birth and life and grief from loss, and the magnificence of mother nature that surrounds us. We are planning to have a small garden in our backyard to harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables. We are also located near expansive Fort Greene Park where we will take children on outings.

Environmental Consciousness

We follow a program that establishes a foundation for the children's awareness of their impact on the environment. The program creates good habits in the reduction of both the use of resources and creation of trash by taking examples from small things they do in their daily lives. For example: Economizing their use of electricity and water, separating garbage for recycling and composting food scraps for use in the garden.

Independent Habits

We work to establish self sufficiency in areas relevant to the children's developmental stage. For example: toilet training, forming the habit of washing hands well, changing clothes by him/herself, eating without assistance, learning how to tidy up and clean up. We also teach the children both Japanese and western manners like greetings and table etiquette.

Food / Dietary Education

We believe that food is our essence and energy, not only to have a healthy body, but also for a healthy mind. It is crucial for children to learn about whole (real) foods as opposed to processed foods, and to learn to love and appreciate the foods they eat. This will grow with them into their future. Brooklyn Aozora Gakuen provides a program where children will experience growing and harvesting food, then cook and taste that food. We prioritize the selection of good quality ingredients and healthy eating habits, and work closely with the parents to bring these values into their homes.