Pacific edition, Thursday, May 17, 2007

GINOWAN, Okinawa — Children at the Okinawa AmerAsian School had a lot to smile about Tuesday.

They will no longer have to share textbooks, and the library shelves soon will be stacked with offerings for all ages thanks to a donation of $10,000 worth of English textbooks from the U.S. Consulate in Naha.

The school, run by a nonprofit organization, is mostly attended by children of American servicemembers and Japanese mothers who are unable to attend Department of Defense Dependents Schools and feel out of place in the Japanese school system.

Because many of the children are raised by single mothers, the school keeps the tuition minimal, relying largely on donations to survive, school officials said.

Besides the material support, Tuesday’s donation, delivered by U.S. Consul General Kevin Maher, helped boost the children’s pride in having double cultural backgrounds, said Naomi Noiri, the school’s acting director.

“When the students learned that the American consul general was visiting our school, they shouted for joy,” she said. “It means for them that America remembers them and cares about them.”

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