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Fun and Learning Center

By Naomi Sato
Guest Writer
(Translated by Nao H. Kauffman)

Misawa city is well known as the city with the American military base. Near the main gate of Misawa Air Base, there is a new facility called SKY PLAZA MISAWA (the former MG PLAZA) in the American Village. Have you checked out the place? The Fun and Learning Center is an international childcare located on the third floor in the facility.

After getting off the elevator to the third floor, you will find a spacious play area for children. Sunlight coming through large windows shines on the play area throughout the day. The entrance of the facility is well secured by a fence and locks. Within the classrooms, the open-plan provides children with a wide view through the large windows. Moreover, creative instructors, who are well experienced with arts and crafts, have colorfully decorated the rooms. The facility is very organized as children safely spare their productive time. Manager/owner, Ryo Mizushiri, known as Mr. K, put on a lot of efforts and has a strong belief for children's well development. The Fun and Learning Center mostly serves for dependents of military families but some Japanese young children also attend the school. All children speak English and enjoy school activities, which makes a great impression on anyone. Such a special environment is particularly distinctive and special to Misawa. In the morning, children, who are divided by different age levels, mainly spend their time on learning such as writing and reading, music activities and crafts. I found those great experiences daily bring precious influence on the future prospect of the children's growth.

The Fun and Learning Center offers three different services, full-time childcare from 6:30 to 17:30, and part-time childcare for a half day, or hourly drop-in care service. In order to accommodate, single parent families, or families with two active duty parents, to a special request during the military exercises, the school flexibly extends their hours from 5:30 to 18:30. On October 28 this year, they had a Halloween party. The children had a great time with their parents and staff. Throughout the year, they correspond to the PACAF calendar, and the American holidays and culture. They are going to celebrate Thanksgiving in November and annually hold a Christmas party in December. Besides those cultural events, they also have a monthly birthday party and children bring their own lunch day on Friday. Parents are welcome to join their children during lunch hours by bringing their own lunch since the school does not serve school lunch on Friday. Mr. K is also looking forward to introducing more multi-cultural events and field trips after relocating the new facility and better location.



~Mr. K's Message~


It has been over sixteen years since the Fun and Learning Center started serving military families and their children from Misawa Air Base. Before we moved to the current and greatest location near the main gate, we used to run the school near the POL gate. We are pleased to open the new Fun and Learning Center in SKY PLAZA MISAWA and appreciate all the support from related people to make this happen.

Now, the Fun and Learning Center joins a non-profit organization, Misawa Access Publications (MAP), which promotes international association projects and child-support programs. We are very honored to support the military families who are proudly away from home working toward global peace in Japan.



I now get a flavor of what this school has to offer. It is different than the Japanese education. If I grew up in this type of education, there is no doubt I would have been fluently speaking English as well as native speakers. Some young Japanese children, who have been here less than a year, quickly try to communicate in English as fluent as the American children.

The Fun and Learning Center is currently welcoming new students who would like to check out the school. Their phone number is 0176-53-7936. The Staff is fluent in English and Japanese. I encourage you to enjoy time in such a mixed cultural environment. That is the exactly good of the Fun and Learning Center.


FLC (ファン&ラーニングセンター)

三沢市は基地のある市として有名です。その三沢基地のメインゲート近くのアメリカ広場に SKY PLAZA MISAWA (旧  MG ビル)がオープンしたのはご存知でしょうか?

 ファン&ラーニングセンターはその 3 階にあり、ここは NPO 法人 MAP 内のインターナショナル保育園です。

 改名されて、「スカイプラザ ミサワ」となった建物に入り、エレベーターを 3 階で降りると、開いたドアの向こうには、大きな窓に囲まれた広々としたスペースに楽しそうな遊具が並んでいます。安全をほどこしたフェンス、かわいくデコレーションされたドアなど、ありとあらゆる場所に気遣いが感じられ、経営者の子どもに対する信念と先生達の細かい気遣いが感じられます。




FLC の預かりスケジュールは 6:30 〜 17:30 (米軍の演習訓練時は 5:30 〜 18:30 )で半日保育のパートタイム、一日保育のフルタイム、一時預かりのドロップインケアといといろいろなプランで対応をしています。

10/28 (金)にはハロウィーンパーティーが開催されました。アットホームな園の中で仮装した子供達と家族がひと時を楽しみました。

一年を通じて、パシフィックエアーフォースカレンダーにそってアメリカのいろいろな行事が行われ、 11 月にはサンクスギビング、 12 月はクリスマス会、月一回のお誕生会など目白押しです。それと、金曜日は園ではランチを出さないので、みんなそれぞれのランチを持参してお昼を食べます。親御さん達も自分のランチを持ってきて子どもと一緒に食べることもできるんですよ。




ファン&ラーニングセンターは三沢空軍基地のお子様をお預かりして 16 年になります。又、施設も POL ゲートそばより、メインゲートそばの「スカイプラザ ミサワ」に移設いたしました。

「スカイプラザ ミサワ」は三沢市の最も中心に位置する代表的な建物です。




今回、私は日本とは違う教育を垣間見たような気がします。もし、私がここで教育を受けていたならば、ネイティブスピーカーになっていた事は間違いないでしょう。なぜなら、在籍一年未満の日本人の子供が流暢な英語で会話をしているからです。もし、興味があったら見学してみるのもいいと思います。連絡先は 0176-53-7936 。日本人も常勤しているので、英語の苦手な方でも「もしもし」と言えば日本語で対応してくれるので安心です。

Let's study English & Japanese and have fun at FLC!! まさに、 Fun & Learning Center そのものです。

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