SNG graduation ceremony held at school

The Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute’s graduation ceremony was scheduled to take place at the Shigaku Kaikan Arcadia Ichigaya on Saturday, March 19th, 2011, but unfortunately Japan was hit with the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami on the 11th. More than 300 people attend the graduation ceremony every year, but for safety reasons, we unfortunately had to cancel the event.
Today, the 18th, was the day of the final class meetings. It was the last chance for graduating students to come to the school and to say goodbye to their teachers and staff members.
Through our website, we informed students that we would be handing out graduation certificates at 11am, and although there were already students who had returned to their home countries, others began to gather at the school even before nine in the morning.
There were five students who were headed to Narita to return home, and so at 9:30, we held a small ceremony for them. Among them there were two students who received awards for two years of perfect attendance. They were presented with certificates and monetary prizes.
After that, students arrived one after another and the partitions between classrooms on the second floor were opened to create one large space to accommodate them all. Teachers quickly ran out to buy sandwiches, cake, juice, and other supplies.
In the classroom, the students names were called out one by one, pictures were taken, the principal gave a speech, and everyone sang “Aogeba Toutoshi.” It ended up being a wonderful ceremony.
Thanks to the kindness of the teachers, we had a lively party.
In the afternoon, Edith, one of our French students, finally arrived. She had been chosen to give a speech at the graduation ceremony as student representative. Through emotional tears, she gave her speech in front of all the gathered teachers.
We sang “Aogeba Toutoshi” one more time, and although it was only a modest ceremony, it will remain in everyone’s hearts.
Thank you so much, everyone!