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.