Niji-Iro receives grant to keep growing
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Now, in its fifth school year as a Livonia Public Schools offering, Niji-Iro Japanese Immersion Elementary School continues to grow and thrive with the support from its staff, parents and from community partners such as the Consulate-General of Japan - Detroit.

The school, led by administrator Lawrence Deluca, has expanded to include sixth grade and was recently issued a $30,000 salary assistance grant from the Japan Foundation, through the Consulate-General of Japan - Detroit, a non-profit organization that promotes international awareness and mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. through cultural exchange.

The K-6 Japanese-English dual-immersion program is one of just four of its kind in the U.S. and attracts students from around the Metro Detroit area. Students spend half of their day in English and half in Japanese, with peer-to-peer support being a primary element in the classrooms.

Yuki Sakai, deputy consul-general at the Consulate-General of Japan, who presented the grant to LPS Superintendent Andrea Oquist, noted that beyond the benefits of children becoming multi-lingual, Niji-Iro also offers an array of cultural activities from both the U.S. and Japan.

“Such experiences at a young age will certainly broaden their horizons, and will be useful when they become global citizens as they grow up,” said Sakai.

Niji-Iro has grown from 127 students in grades kindergarten through fourth, just four years ago, to 272 students in grades kindergarten through sixth.

“The growth that we’ve experienced at Niji-Iro Elementary speaks to the tremendous commitment of each staff member, each student and each parent, as well as wonderful community partners such as the Japan Foundation,” said Superintendent Oquist. “We are so grateful for this support of a program that we truly regard as a point of great pride in our school district.” 
Niji-Iro grant presentation

Melanie Delphia at podium
grant at Niji Iro