You and your family are invited to the 2018 Watsonville-Santa Cruz Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Picnic at Aptos Village Park (100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos, CA 95003) on Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 11 AM to 4:30 PM.  This community picnic was established over 100 years ago by immigrant Issei pioneers who struggled and worked tediously and could afford only one day out of the year to relax and celebrate with gratitude the survival of another year.  At this community picnic, everyone is welcome.  Enjoy a delicious chicken barbecue lunch (only $8 for adults and teens, $5 for Seniors 70 and older and for children 6-12, and free for 5 years and younger), the presentation of scholarships to our outstanding youths, fun races for all ages, free bingo with wonderful prizes for our Senior friends, entertainment by Watsonville Taiko, an ice cream social, a jan ken pon contest, and an exciting raffle.  Please carpool as parking is limited.

Gakko Family Sign ups:

Student Volunteer Form:

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.


Registration will open in February for the 2018 summer session. Gakko is available for children who have completed kindergarten through the 6th grade (by June 2018).

School Dates: June 25 through July 6, 2018. There is no school on July 4th.
Location: Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge Street, Watsonville.
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday.

New family” orientations will be held on Sunday, June 24, 2018, from 11:00–12:00. Please see additional registration information and requirements here.