What is a typical day at Gakko?

Every day at Gakko is different for every grade, but an example of a typical day is:

  • Morning check-in and stretches with the whole school
  • Japanese word-of-the-day presentation with the whole school
  • Music practice for the Open House performance
  • Art project, such as ceramics, wood block prints, calligraphy, origami
  • Break/snack
  • Reading/stories and journal writing
  • End-of-day gathering


Each grade of Gakko has a different theme, which guides the curriculum, art, cooking, and Open House performance for that year. More information can be found on the classroom webpages.

Kindergarten Festivals
First Grade Fish
Second Grade Rice/Cooking
Third Grade Games
Fourth Grade Bamboo
Fifth/Sixth Grade Immigration

What are the volunteer commitments of this cooperative summer program?

Commitment details on Registration page.

What supplies does my child need to bring?

The registration fee includes the cost of materials, but students need to come prepared to Gakko with basic supplies. These can be found on the classroom webpages. Each child should also bring a snack each day.


What if my child doesn’t have a Japanese name or a family mon (crest)?

During Gakko children are called by their Japanese name. This can simply be the Japanese pronunciation of your name (for example, Miles becomes Milesu at Gakko) or you can pick one out yourself. The following websites are good places to start:



Most grades include an art project that features the child’s family mon, or crest. If you don’t have one, you can create or pick one yourself (the simpler the better, since they are used in a variety of art projects). The following websites are good resources:



How do I sign up for a Gakko work day?

To ensure that there are enough, but not too many, family helpers each day of Gakko, we ask that families use the Sign Up Genius sheet.

Sign up for Gakko work day.

On the morning of your work day please check in with the volunteer coordinator for your work day assignment.  Please note that you may not be assigned to work in your child’s classroom on your work day.  Many classrooms do not need a family helper each day, and there are many other things that need to get done to keep Gakko running smoothly, such as kitchen and bathroom cleaning, activity and snack preparation, etc.

What supplies can I bring to Gakko?

We ask families to sign up to bring some of the supplies necessary to keep Gakko running smoothly.  To ensure we get what is necessary we ask that familes use the Sign Up Genius sheet.

Sign up to bring supplies.

What should I donate for the Farmer’s Market?

We set up a small Farmer’s Market during school hours as a fundraiser for the program.  We ask families in each grade to donate items that can be sold on a particular date.  Donation dates for each grade are on the grade-specific web pages.  Here are some examples of donations:

  1. Produce of any kind, either commercial or home garden.  If you have a commercial operation, one box of product is plenty and the earlier in the program the better.  If you have a home garden, fresh fruits, or vegetables of any kind are wonderful.  Feel free to package them in a cute way if you like.  We have even had fresh herbs donated that were tied up in pretty ribbons.  You could also donate small plants in pots.  All of these tend to be very popular.
  2. Home goods: do you make jam or jelly, maybe even pickles?  Send in some jars to sell, or maybe you like to make quick breads, cookies, brownies, packaged perfectly to sell.  They always sell very fast. (Please let the market lead know a typical store price on these, so we don’t under price your hard work!)
  3. Snack bar items.  Maybe you prefer to just purchase something to sell.  Well, we love those items too!  Some suggestions: boxed milk, 100% juice boxes, cheese sticks, granola bars, fruit roll ups, fresh fruit, beef jerky.  Think healthy and nutritious.  A little sugar is okay, but avoid candy please.
  4. If you have Japanese items, new or gently used and want to donate, that is nice too.  Could be dishes, clothing, towels, etc.  Washi paper, Origami paper, tiny Japanese trinkets… these are fun to purchase during Gakko too!  Please avoid dontating things you would send off to Goodwill.  They just do not sell.  Better yet, send those items to the Watsonville Buddhist Temple’s garage sale that is usually held in early August.

What is the tax ID for Gakko so my business can claim their tax deductible donation to Farmers Market or Raffle?

Kokoro no Gakko
P.O. Box 2063
Freedom, CA, 95019
Non-Profit Tax ID #77-0381616

What should I bring to the Gakko family luncheon?

The annual Gakko family luncheon takes place on the first Friday of Gakko (June 28th) immediately following class release at 12:30 P.M.  This is a great time to mingle and visit with other families, as well as enjoy a delicious lunch.  If your child’s last name begins with A-G: bring a salad or side dish; H-L: bring a dessert.  Please bring enough to serve at least 18 people.

What should I bring to the Open House potluck?

The Open House performance showcase, raffle, and potluck dinner is from 6 PM to 8 PM on the last day of Gakko (Wednesday, July 3, 2019) and the families of all children are invited to attend. Classrooms are open for families to visit, and the children’s classroom projects will be ready for pick up (we recommend bringing a bag or two to the Open House to bring project home).  If your child’s last name begins with M-Pe: bring a dessert, Po-Z: bring a salad or side dish.  Please bring enough to serve at least 18 people.

What does my child need for the Open House music program?

Bob and Denise Gomez are Gakko’s music program coordinators, and each year they help Gakko students bring traditional as well as contemporary Japanese songs and skits alive during the Open House showcase. Song Lyrics and costume/wardrobe needs for each grade for the 2019 Open House can be found on the classroom webpages.