St. John’s students make an impact in Japan

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Dr. Hawins, Kazuki Osawa, Mrs. Finlay and Mr. and Mrs. Charlier.

When the tsunami hit Japan two years ago, teachers and students at St. John’s tried to find ways to comfort the people of Japan and give them encouragement for the future. One way 7th grade did this was by making beautiful drawings which they sent to the Japanese School in Brussels who would forward them to Japan.

Today, we received a surprise visit from a retired Belgian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Charlier from Rixensart. They shared with us that our students’ drawings really did make an impact in Japan. The couple has friends in Japan who noticed drawings made by children from Belgium in the city hall of a town near Sendai, Japan. Their friends took photos of it and sent the copies to the couple, who noticed some of the drawing had the name St. John’s on it which prompted their visit.

Middle School teacher Sue Finlay was very involved in the 7th grade drawing project and the connection with the Japanese School. Kazuki Osawa is a 7th grade St. John’s student from Japan, who was in 5th grade when the tsunami hit. He sold buttons to support his home country and sent the proceeds to the relief efforts. Both were delighted to hear that efforts by St. John’s had worked and that the drawings are still displayed in the city hall today.

Mr. and Mrs. Charlier will go back to Japan in April, but will visit St. John’s prior to their departure to speak to our students and take along some new drawings and Lucky the Lion mascots to give to Japanese students. A wonderful story confirming to our students that showing compassion is important and does impact those in need!