EGUSD in the Spotlight
Time of Remembrance Project and Website
The Elk Grove Unified School District is pleased to showcase the Time of Remembrance website, a collection of resources about the mass relocation of thousands of west coast residents of Japanese ancestry during World War II. The policy called into question the very foundation of a democratic society. At the heart of the Time of Remembrance website is an archive of broadcast-quality interviews with 17 Elk Grove citizens who experienced firsthand discrimination, exclusion, and removal following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Photo: Screen Capture of the Time of Remembrance Website
The interviews were recorded in the spring and summer of 2006. During the 2006-07 school year, a team of EGUSD teachers correlated interview segments to the California History/Social Science and English/Language Arts content standards and developed curriculum-aligned lessons that incorporate the “living voices” of the internees. Thanks to the contributions of these teachers and a two-year collaborative effort between EGUSD’s Technology Services, the Teaching American History Grant, and BESTNet,* this unique collection of oral histories, lessons, and resources is now available to a worldwide audience.
Photo: Reiko Nagumo leaves for camp
The Elk Grove School District has taken an active role in formally recognizing how the internment of thousands of its Japanese-American residents during the war years profoundly affected the history of this once small farming community. The original EGUSD Time of Remembrance Program was created in 1983 by the late Mary Tsukamoto, an Elk Grove educator and lifelong civil rights activist. Today, the district, with assistance from Mary’s daughter, Marielle Tsukamoto, and in collaboration with the Japanese Americans Citizen’s League, California State University, Sacramento, and the California Museum for History, Woman and the Arts, annually invites internees to a central location to share their internment stories so that students can learn why it is important to understand the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to all citizens.
Photo: Poster of Ouchida family arriving at Jerome
“It is the hope of all involved in the project that the Time of Remembrance website will serve as a model for other communities to make broadly accessible primary source materials based on the people and history of a community,” Marielle Tsukamoto said. “It is through the sharing and examination of our collective yet unique histories that we will avoid the errors of the past.”
Over the past two years, Marielle Tsukamoto has worked closely with Time of Remembrance website and project coordinators David Byrd (Curriculum and Professional Learning), Gail Desler (Technology Services), and Doug Niva (SECC Productions Manager) to transform the Time of Remembrance oral histories project from a vision to an online reality. More interviews and lessons will be added to the archive within the current school year.
Photo: Stan Umeda – Jerome, Arkansas
“In addition to eight new interviews, we are also planning to include a walking tour of what remains of Marysville’s Japan Town, facilitated by two of its former residents,” Desler said. “Doug Niva, Marielle Tsukamoto, and I will join Molly Kimura and Toshye Kawamura as they revisit their pre-war hometown. This project truly makes visible that history does not happen in a vacuum; it happens in our communities.”
For more information about this project and website, please contact Gail Desler, Technology Integration Specialist, EGUSD.
* BESTNet is a high speed network provided through the combined efforts of the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, the Sacramento Cable Commission, and Comcast.
BESTNet - Sacramento's educational technology gateway
Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium
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