Things Are Hopping with JOEE at Chofugakuen

Wonderful things are happening at Chofugakuen, a newly renovated children’s care facility in Chofu, located in the western part of Tokyo.


JOEE lessons started out here in November of 2021 with trained JOEE teachers bringing music and games to the children while teaching English.


Our first teachers were Annie and Lilian, followed by our most recent teacher, Tomoko who has now taught here since April of 2022. She has been assisted by our administrator, Hiroko, along with regular helpers, Jorge and Yushi and a special guest teacher, Chiyuki.


Tomoko has carefully-planned lessons every week that build on the previous week’s material. Her lessons incorporate games, singing, action, books and puppets to keep the children engaged and excited. The children at Chofu Gakuen love JOEE time!

Tomoko先生は毎週、前の週の内容に基づいて丁寧に計画されたレッスンを行っています。 彼女のレッスンには、ゲーム、歌、アクション、本、パペットが組み込まれており、子供たちの心をひきつけ、ワクワク感を高めています。 調布学園の子どもたちはJOEEの時間が大好き!

Our JOEE teachers usually teach once a week at a children’s home on a regular schedule. When a regular teacher is unable to attend, other JOEE teachers may step in to substitute for that lesson. Our substitute teachers love meeting new children and enjoying the energy and enthusiasm that they bring to class time.


JOEE is active in several children’s homes in Tokyo including Chiba, one in Nagoya and one in Kobe. We are actively looking for more homes that would welcome free English lessons and we continue to train teacher volunteers. Contact us if you would like to help:

JOEEは、千葉を含む首都圏のいくつかの児童養護施設、名古屋の1施設、神戸の1施設で活動しています。無料の英語レッスンを受け入れてくれる施設をさらに積極的に探し、講師ボランティアの育成を続けています。ご協力いただける方は、 までご連絡ください。

Please donate by clicking on the “DONATE TO JOEE” button in the JOEE website:

JOEEのウェブサイトの「DONATE TO JOEE」ボタンをクリックして寄付してください:

Thank you for your support! ご支援いただきありがとうございます!

A Lesson at St. Joseph’s


Prior to the start of the summer of 2019, Ruth, Hiroko and I were able to schedule a lesson at St. Joseph’s Orphanage which would be open to preschool, kindergarten and lower grade elementary school children.  Armed with puppets, picture books, snacks, and prayer we waited expectantly for the kids to arrive. The staff there would like the program to be open to whomever would like to attend, so we weren’t sure how many children or what ages would participate.

Statue of Saint Joseph at the Children’s Home

At first, two elementary-age girls arrived.  It was lovely to meet them, but they left giggling at our silly dancing and opening song.  The clock was ticking our lesson minutes away, but finally, slightly damp and smelling of soap bubbles, a nice group of kindergarten-age children and their caretakers arrived!  Little feet carried them into the room and we began the “ball” lesson.

Ruth was the main teacher and led the lesson with her gentle grace and sweet voice.  Lots of giggles, happy faces, and great participation followed. Hiroko and I sat with warm children in our laps, little hands holding our own.  One boy in particular kept coming to my lap and seemed to really enjoy being with me. I prayed for him and all of his friends quietly in my heart as we all practiced “ball” and Ruth passed out animal shaped cookies.  “Please!” “Thank you!” Little voices filled the air with English. We acted out a story using puppets and sound effects, and I was able to reprise my role as “the snake” for “Can I Play Too?”

At the end of the lesson, we thanked the orphanage director for her hospitality.  We are praying that she will be happy with our program and invite us back.

— Raku