Local Teacher To Be An Honored Guest Of the Japanese Government

LAKE CITY - This October, Brenda Hutcheson will depart for Tokyo as a participant in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.  Ms. Hutcheson, from Riverside, was selected from a national pool of over 1,700 applicant by a panel of educators to earn this  honor.  this program allows distinguished primary and secondary school deucators in the U.X. to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations.

Brenda Hutcheson will be among 200 educators visiting Japan in October.  They will begin their visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation on Japanese life and culture and meetings with Japanese government officials and educators.  They then will travel in groups of 20 to selected host cities where they will have direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools as well as a teachers college.  They also will visit cultural sites and local industries in addition to a brief homestay with a Japanese family.

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, based in Tokyo, oversees all aspects of the Teacher Program.  The program is sponsored by the Government of Japan and was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to study in the U.S. on Fullbright fellowships for graduate education and research.  The Institute of International Education acts as the agency for the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund to coordinate the recruitment and pre-departure activities of the Teacher Program in the United States.

Up to 400 educators from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be invited to visit Japan in June and October of 2007 (200 in each group). To date, more than 5,800 primary and secondary educators have visited Japan through the JFMF Teacher Program.  Upon their return, program participants share what they have learned about Japan with their students and communities through a variety of outreach projects.

Primary and secondary scholl educators throughout the United States can apply to take part in one of the two trips to Japan scheduled for 2008, as guests of the Japanese Government.  Teachers of all disciplines, including art, physical education, English, ESI, history, geography, math, science, and special education, from every region of the United States, are encouraged to apply.  Applicants are not required or expected to have previous knowledge of Japanese or Japan.  The application deadline for both 2008 trips is December 10, 2007.  For more information about the 2008 competition, please refer to the Fulbright Memorial Fund website or contact 1-888-527-2636 (1-888-Japan-FMF) or jfmf@iie.org.  All applications must be completed online.