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On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Japanese American and Japanese older adults gather at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC). When they arrive, the older adults make their way into the facility’s social hall and sit together at long, white tables anticipating the day’s activities that await them.
At the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), Chester Ikei teaches older adults how to play the ukulele as a way to bring them together and reduce some of the challenges of aging. The free class supported by Keiro Grant funding, called Ukuleles for Little Tokyo (U4LT), began in September 2016 and has seen interest grow with every class. Now boasting a class size of about 30 students, Mr. Ikei and the JACCC encourage these older adults to learn how to play and sing classic Japanese songs – the kind they listened to in their youth.
In April 2017, Keiro announced the recipients of the Grants Program and invested over $900,000 distributed among 44 local community organizations that pledged to purpose the funding in the pursuit of advancing Keiro’s mission: to enhance the quality of senior life in Our Community.
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