2nd book reading and culture event at the north branch of the Ikoma Library（2023/2/12）
April 24, 2023
The 2nd book reading and culture event was held in cooperation with the north branch of the Ikoma Library on February 12th at the north community center ISTA Habataki introducing Jamaica and Jamaican culture. This event is a continuation of the collaboration with the Ikoma Library based on the cooperative agreement with Ikoma City to increase interaction between the community and NAIST international students. From NAIST, Cargill Seiveright, a Jamaican student, and 2 staff members and their families participated in the event along with 15 Ikoma families (18 children (ages 2-8) and their guardians) that were ready to learn more about Jamaica.
After the library staff opened the event with greetings and announcements from the library, Ikoma Mayor Masashi Komurasaki greeted the participants and talked about the close relationship between NAIST and the Ikoma community. Robert King (UEA, CISS) then greeted the participants and led everyone in doing 'Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes' and passed the lead to Cargill. After he led the song to get everyone involved, the book reading of 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?' written by Eric Carle began. A library staff member read the Japanese version and then Cargill read the English one, and the children attentively listened to both of these.
After the reading, Robert introduced animal sounds in English to the children so they could play Find Your Herd, a game where participants are given cards with animal pictures and they have to use animal sounds to find all the same animals (participants with the same cards) After everyone got used to barking, meowing, mooing, etc., the game began and the room was filled with animal sounds and children were running around making their herds. Find Your Herd was done twice and following this, Robert reviewed the sounds so that everyone will hopefully remember what they all were.
Cargill then took over the culture part of the event and introduced Jamaica and its culture using a slide show he prepared and some videos that introduced many aspects of Jamaican culture. While some of the children knew some famous Jamaican sports stars and had heard of Reggae music, most had no image of Jamaica, its culture, nature, etc. After the presentation Cargill reviewed some Jamaican animals, the flag and some plants so that the children could color them in the next part of the event. Children then chose a Jamaican related animal, object, etc. coloring page and colored it while they were shown slides to reggae music. Robert and a child volunteer then closed the event with 'Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes.'
Making friends and meeting new people are some of the best ways to understand cultures and gain insight to countries around the globe. The third library event is scheduled for July and we hope to continue making ties with the community.