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 (66)
Concentration camps (592)
Education (926)

926 items
Adult education certificate of completion (ddr-densho-164-135)
doc Adult education certificate of completion (ddr-densho-164-135)
This certificate was given to a Nisei woman upon completion of a beginning class in clothing design, pattern drafting, and sewing.
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "Rain" (ddr-densho-171-147)
Excerpt: "The black hovering clouds indicated rain -- heavy rain. The day appeared like night, darker and darker it got."
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-37)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-37)
Excerpt: "The first and most important reason for writing is to tip you off that if you receive a call from Father Daisuke Kitagawa, I have sent him." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Student essay (ddr-densho-171-179)
doc Student essay (ddr-densho-171-179)
Excerpt: "One day when I came home from the movie with my sister our parents seemed worried as though something terrible had happened."
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "Hauling Rocks" (ddr-densho-171-169)
Excerpt: "When I woke up in the morning and went to work I found out that we had to haul rocks to Block 3."
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-39)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-39)
Excerpt: "I'm taking the day off more as a precaution than anything else..." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "War" (ddr-densho-171-170)
Excerpt: "'December 7th, 1941, Japs attack Pearl Harbor' 'Surprise Attack in Pearl Harbor!' War! War!"
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-14)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-14)
Excerpt: "I feel terribly that I didn't get any special greeting to you for Christmas, but there just wasn't time to write and Uncle Sam was discouraging telegrams and long distance phone calls." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-41)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-41)
Excerpt: "This is intended as a timely greeting in lieu of a phone call or telegram. I hope it will find you having a pleasant, cozy Christmas 'on the home front'!" Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "War" (ddr-densho-171-177)
Excerpt: "War is a contest by force bteween two or more nations or states, carried on for any purpose -- a contest which is full of hatred had has an urge to kill the ones of the opposite side."
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "What happened when Pearl Harbor was attacked" (ddr-densho-171-136)
Excerpt: "Blood! More blood! Was the frantic cry of the doctors when our horribly burned and mangled boys began to stream in the operating tables."
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-56)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-56)
Excerpt: "We got off at 11 Friday morning, rode to Burley with Mr. Heley on an errand and took the last seats in the bus from there." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-82)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-82)
Excerpt: "Just a scribble to tell you I am OK but simply swamped with the closing of the center." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-58)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-58)
Excerpt: "Here I am starting my third year on the project today!" Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Student essay:
doc Student essay: "Killed in Action" (ddr-densho-171-114)
Excerpt: "People only knew him as a dissipated boy whom no one would associate with, except his few degenerate friends."
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-18)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-18)
Excerpt: "Last week I had some rest from choir after Mae's leaving -- we took a week off because of the big banquets for the volunteers." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-32)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-32)
Excerpt: "Instead I must go down for a visit from the Twin Falls Young People which is now starting..." Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
Student essay (ddr-densho-171-105)
doc Student essay (ddr-densho-171-105)
Excerpt: "Guns are roaring, bullets whizzing, men dying like rats, so that this world would be a decent place to live."
Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-76)
doc Letter from a camp teacher to her family (ddr-densho-171-76)
Excerpt: "We're on the last three months! And this one is flashing along unbelievable fast!" Sent from Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
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