Since its founding in 1992, one major problem Tsukuba International School has consistently faced is how to generate a stable financial base. As it has no access to public funding, the only sources of income have been student tuitions (which are based on a sliding fee scale and which make up the bulk of income) and donations from private companies and individuals.
Over the years, donations have been sporatic, but they have played a critical role in keeping TIS open and operating. Donations, however,do not come in automatically every year, and so yearly efforts have to be made to incourage companies and individuals to contribute, and with the recent economic downturn, that is increasingly difficult to do.
As TIS is an all volunteer organization (other than the salaried teachers and school administrative assistant, of course), finding enough people with the time and ability to get the job done is also a challenge. To help insure that a more stable contribution base is established, the School Support Committee was organized this year. Several community leaders with ties to such organizations as the Lionís Club and Rotary Club have joined in the efforts. A Joyo Living article in August resulted in about 20 additional people indicating they would like to becoming supporting members of the SSC, which involves contributing at least •3000 for individuals and •10,000 for companies per year. Members will receive a regular update in Japanese (non-Japanese members, of course, will get updates in English!), and occasional opportunities to interact with children and teachers/volunteers at the school.
The official organizing general meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31 from 2 to 4 pm at the Ibaraki YMCA/Tsukuba Christian Center building near Daiei. It will be followed by a Halloween Party for TIS kids. All who are interested in becoming members of the TIS-SSC are incouraged to contact the office at the YMCA at 52-4128 (or contact the school in English). All members of the SSC are, of course, invited to attend the organizing meeting and party.
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