Register Now for Kokoro no Gakko 2022!

Updated 3/20/2022

Registration for the 2022 summer session is now open. Register Now! This year Gakko is available for children who have completed kindergarten through the 6th grade (by June 2022), as well as returning 7th and 8th grade students. Gakko will follow the COVID 19-related policies and guidance of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District that are in place during the Gakko session.

School Dates: June 27 through July 1, 2022

Location: Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge Street, Watsonville (subject to Santa Cruz County health guidelines and requirements that are in place during the Gakko session)

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Update: As of 4/19/2022, any further 3rd, 4th and 5th grade applications will be put on a wait list as we continue to work through schedule and staffing efforts.

Update: As of 5/1/2022 5th grade is full.

In light of continued Covid 19-related safety protocols and uncertainties there may be some notable changes from previous years that we want you to be aware of:

  • Gakko will be held Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 1, 2022, for one week only. (The ability to return in-person will be subject to Santa Cruz County health guidelines and requirements at the scheduled time of Gakko.)
  • Each day will be longer than previous years, beginning at 9 AM and ending at 3 PM.
  • Classes may be multi-age groups, based on enrollment numbers and teacher availability. For example, there may be a 1st and 2nd grade group; 3rd and 4th grade group; 5th and 6th grade group; and 7th and 8th grade group. Class groups will move together throughout the day to a variety of indoor and outdoor activities focused on Japanese arts, culture, language, food, and games.
  • Yes! This year students finishing 7th and 8th grade who were not able to complete Gakko may enroll! Returning Gakko students will have priority for enrollment, but new 7th and 8th grade students can enroll if space allows.  
  • Parent participation is not required this year. Donations to help support the day-to-day running of Gakko and the farmers market will be requested, and additional volunteer opportunities may be available. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to adapt the program to ongoing needs as there may be changes to program details between now and June. Please consider donating to Gakko, helping as a member of the Board of Directors, and/or assisting Gakko during the 2022 session. Email to learn more about volunteer opportunities.  We are so grateful for your involvement in and continued support of Kokoro no Gakko!

Kokoro no Gakko – or “School with a Heart” in English – is a two-week summer program dedicated to the culture and arts of Japan and founded to pass on an understanding of Japanese American culture. Children between kindergarten and 6th grade learn traditional Japanese customs and practices through hands-on activities, including bonsai, ikebana, origami, calligraphy, cooking, language arts, singing, and much more. The program closes with an Open House showcasing the cultural skills acquired by the students, a raffle, and potluck dinner. Gakko is held at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple and is a parent-cooperative venture, thriving on the support from all the children’s families and the generosity of the classroom and resource-specific senseis.