Jamie Takakuwa, an eight year-old student at is getting back into the groove of academic life. After a long summer of swimming lessons, bike riding, and play dates, she is buckling down and readying herself for the responsibilities of third grade.
A new school year means a new teacher and Takakuwa already loves hers. “My teacher, Ms. Omania, is really nice,” she said enthusiastically. “Sometimes, when we’re not done with something, even when it’s supposed to be timed, she lets us finish anyway. I like that.”
Takakuwa also enjoys and esteems her peers. “I like my classmates a lot,” she claimed. “I like to play with them at recess. We play on the bars and we play an imaginary game we made up called ‘Cats’.”
With her long brown hair, gentle smile, and careful composure, Takakuwa is thoughtful when asked what she hopes for in the coming year. Tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear, she considers the question for a moment before responding. “I want to do more art this year,” she said. “In kindergarten we got to do art all the time. Then, in first and second grade, there got to be a lot more work. I want to do more art again.”
Outside of school, Takakuwa enjoys having friends visit, swimming at Lake Anza, and riding her bike to the park. “Sometimes my friends meet me there and we ride together,” she explained, brightening with the memory. “We ride around and around, following each other — it’s fun to see how fast we can go!”