Led by President Thanh Nguyen and her team of helpers, the chapter now has a flourishing

new program to teach ikebana to schoolchildren. We have named it the Ikebana For Youth

program (IFY). Cultivating the study and love of ikebana among young people has long

been recognized as an urgent and continuing need to insure the future vitality of ikebana as a

thriving art form. Rising to the challenge, this spring Ms. Nguyen contacted people in the

school system in her community and was able to arrange teaching sessions in two schools

before the summer recess. The results were overwhelmingly successful.

On Thursday, April 24, Thanh and Bernice Malizia prepared huge amounts of donated fresh

materials and equipment. The next day, April 25, Thanh and Jeff Fine filled a car with

flowers, oasis, containers, and equipment and drove to the Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle

School in Palo Alto. They were greeted by middle school teacher Keiko Nakajima. Then

Thanh taught 24 seventh graders in the first class, followed by 14 eighth graders in a second

class. The students were 13 and 14 years old. They listened attentively as she explained the

art of ikebana and taught them how to measure, cut and secure flowers in containers and the

children were enthusiastic and enjoyed the workshop. Nadine Priestley was on hand to

photograph the classes. Her photos will be added to the chapter’s website.

Thanh reports “it was one of the most rewarding experiences in teaching ikebana I have ever

had.” If we have a good volunteer response from other ikebana teachers in Bay Area

communities, we hope this valuable program can expand and continue to bring ikebana to a

young generation and refresh our own enjoyment of ikebana.

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