Education

Schools were quickly organized in the concentration camps, but they suffered from crude facilities and lack of teaching materials. Instruction was given for nursery through high school, and adult education was offered. Trained teachers were in short supply, however, and uncertified Japanese Americans with college degrees often filled in. The War Relocation Authority (WRA) deliberately emphasized Americanization in the education program. Some found it painfully ironic to watch incarcerated youth recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

World War II (54)
Concentration camps (556)
Education (782)

782 items
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (October 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-71)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Violet Saito (October 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-71)
Handwritten letter to Mollie Wilson from Violet Saito (October 10, 1942). Envelope is postmarked October 12, 1942 from the Granada (Amache) Incarceration Camp in Amache, Colorado.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (February 26, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-33)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (February 26, 1943) (ddr-janm-1-33)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Mary Murakami (February 26, 1943). Envelope is postmarked February 27, 1943 from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Third-grade students (ddr-densho-151-32)
img Third-grade students (ddr-densho-151-32)
Original WRA caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Third grade students working on their arithmetic lesson at this first volunteer elementary school. School equipment was not yet available at the time this photograph was taken.
Elementary school students (ddr-densho-151-33)
img Elementary school students (ddr-densho-151-33)
Original WRA caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school with voluntary evacuee attendance has been established with volunteer evacuee teachers, most of whom are college graduates. No school equipment is as yet obtainable and available tables and benches are used. However, classes are often held in the shade of the barrack building at this ...
Japanese Americans in makeshift classroom (ddr-densho-151-368)
img Japanese Americans in makeshift classroom (ddr-densho-151-368)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school with voluntary attendance has been established with volunteer teachers, most of whom are college graduates. These young evacuees are eager to learn and do not mind the lack of equipment.
Students walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-360)
img Students walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-360)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Pre-school children on the way to their barrack homes from morning class at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry.
Japanese Americans taking citizenship classes (ddr-densho-151-407)
img Japanese Americans taking citizenship classes (ddr-densho-151-407)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Part of a class under the Adult Education Program at this War Relocation Authority center. It is composed of Issei and Kibei evacuees who are studying the Ideals of American Citizenship and the English language with which they are unfamiliar. There are 18 such classes, each averaging 20 volunteer ...
Japanese Americans taking English language class (ddr-densho-151-406)
img Japanese Americans taking English language class (ddr-densho-151-406)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Part of a class under the Adult Education Program at this War Relocation Authority center. It is composed of Issei and Kibei evacuees who are studying the Ideals of American Citizenship and the English language with which they are unfamiliar. There are 18 such classes, each averaging 20 volunteer ...
Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-365)
img Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-365)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school with voluntary attendance has been established with volunteer evacuee teachers, most of whom are college graduates. No school equipment is as yet obtainable and available tables and benches are used. However, classes are often held in the shade of the barrack building.
Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-362)
img Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-362)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Young sixth-grade students studying their lessons in the shade of the barracks at this first voluntary elementary school.
Elementary school class (ddr-densho-151-361)
img Elementary school class (ddr-densho-151-361)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. These young evacuees are attending the first elementary school at this War Relocation Authority center. There are six grades with volunteer teachers and voluntary attendance.
Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-364)
img Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-364)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school has been established with evacuee volunteer teachers, most of whom are college graduates. Attendance at this time is voluntary. No school equipment is as yet available and classes are also held outside the barrack building in the shade.
Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-363)
img Students studying in shade (ddr-densho-151-363)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school has been established with volunteer evacuee teachers, most of whom are college graduates. Attendance at this time is voluntary. No school equipment is as yet available and available tables and benches are used. Classes are often held outside in the shade of the barrack building.
Japanese Americans studying in classroom (ddr-densho-151-367)
img Japanese Americans studying in classroom (ddr-densho-151-367)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school with voluntary attendance has been established with volunteer evacuee teachers, most of whom are college graduates. No school equipment is as yet obtainable and available tables and benches are used.
Students in temporary classroom (ddr-densho-151-366)
img Students in temporary classroom (ddr-densho-151-366)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. An elementary school with voluntary attendance has been established with volunteer evacuee teachers, most of whom are college graduates. No school equipment is as yet obtainable and available tables and benches are used. However, classes are often held in the shade of the barrack building at this War Relocation ...
Fourth grade class and teacher (ddr-densho-152-22)
img Fourth grade class and teacher (ddr-densho-152-22)
Evelyn Dell with her fourth grade students. Original caption: Close up view of teacher and pupils. Girl marked is, according to I.Q. test, smartest in class. Her I.Q. is 122. She's Ethel Tanaka; father is a dentist.
Fourth grade students (ddr-densho-152-20)
img Fourth grade students (ddr-densho-152-20)
A group of fourth grade students outside the Heart Mountain Elementary School building. Original caption: Mutsu Shimada, Melvin Kani, Kenneth Aratani, Franklin Kawanami.
End of school celebration (ddr-densho-152-32)
img End of school celebration (ddr-densho-152-32)
Third grade girls perform in the last day of school celebration.
End of school celebration (ddr-densho-152-33)
img End of school celebration (ddr-densho-152-33)
Japanese Americans watch the last day of school celebration.
Two teachers and a student (ddr-densho-152-23)
img Two teachers and a student (ddr-densho-152-23)
Two Heart Mountain Elementary School teachers with a nisei student. Original caption: "Margaret Bliss Beasley, a third grade girl, and Kay Kumai."
First grade students and teacher (ddr-densho-152-13)
img First grade students and teacher (ddr-densho-152-13)
Original caption: "Wanda Watson and several of her first graders."
First grade class and teacher (ddr-densho-152-37)
img First grade class and teacher (ddr-densho-152-37)
Heart Mountain Elementary School first grade class with teacher, Mrs. Christiansen.
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