Front row (from left): Kanji Sahara and Misa Chomori. Second row (from left): Mike Hatchimonji, Min Tonai, Hal Keimi, Jenny Chomori, Joyce Okazaki, Grace Hatchimonji, Nancy Oda and Kay Oda. Third row (from left): Dr. Valencia Mayfield, Richard Murakami, Audrey Rios, Ernie Nishii and Bryan Glonchok.

CERRITOS — The ABC Unified School District, located in Cerritos, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens, and portions of Lakewood, Norwalk, and Long Beach, is expanding its lauded and unique “Day of Remembrance” program to Grades 3-12 and to all schools in the district.

Jenny Chomori, co-chair with Kyoko Oda, noted, “This dramatic expansion of the program and extension into March for our survivors to communicate the story of their lives to young future leaders of America will be transformative of the ABC community. Technology is expanding our reach and impact. While before we only reached 5,000 a year in a grueling schedule, we can personally reach over 13,000 students.”

Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services Dr. Valencia Mayfield and Carol Castro worked to embed the program into the curricula and as part of a larger program throughout February and March, with March culminating in the “personal experiences” portion of the lessons.  

ABC School Board member Ernie Nishii, who spearheaded the idea four years ago after being elected, stated, “Our aim is that students don’t just read a paragraph of history but rather the personal nature of the experience will be imprinted on the students’ hearts — imprinted such that when they see civil rights abuses to others in the future they are motivated to fight the mob and stand up for what they know is right. These seniors are heroes that will impact our world long into the future.”

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