Joy to the World American International School – Providing Children Safe Space to Grow and Learn Through Creativity

Location – Koishikawa 5-11-17 2F, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan 112-0002

Website –

Contact – +03-5684-0247

Offering new and different experiences is always a focus of the school as we strive to provide classes and programs that fit our families and their own children’s learning style and interests. From our morning preschool and kindergarten program, to our afternoon programs like Afterschool Kindergarten and Afterschool Elementary, all the way to the extracurricular activities we offer such as our ukulele club and our strategy-based games club, we are always bringing new and unique learning experiences into the view of our students.

We currently have two locations where we hold classes, with our main programs being held at our international school. Here we host 6 classrooms and age groups all the way from 0 years old all the way to elementary 4th grade. In addition to our international school location, we also are proud of our newest section, Joy Studios. This is a multi-functional space that serves as a venue for hip-hop dance classes, music and ukulele class, our games club, cooking classes, a music studio, and more.

Mission Statement

Joy to the World’s main mission since our founding in 1999 is to provide all children with a safe space to grow and learn through creativity. We believe that through our wealth of experience, both in the area of childcare and education, we have built a relationship of trust with the surrounding community. Joy to the World also places a high priority on finding talented and experienced educators and caretakers who bring their positivity and passion into the classroom and fill our students with a sense of possibilities and realizing their own potential.

The Torchbearer of the school

Our prominent personality at the school is our school’s founder, Jerry Hanus. Starting with one room in 1999, through his positivity and passion, Joy to the World has grown to be of service to thousands of families over the years. Jerry’s main strength comes from his diverse personality and interests. In addition to being an experienced and dedicated educator, Jerry is also an author, entrepreneur, song writer, musician, cooking instructor, and photographer.

Jerry enjoys bringing his interests into the classroom and motivating students to pursue their own passions. In addition to being enthusiastic about the classroom, Jerry is very enthusiastic about bringing his own culture to Japan. Jerry is originally from Hawaii, and whenever possible, Joy to the World holds a yearly Hawaii Program which gives students who are vacationing in Hawaii the chance to participate in a memorable learning experience which couples the impact of an English immersion environment with magic that is Hawaiian culture.

Overall, Jerry remains the life force of our school and continues to propel Joy to the World into the future by working hard towards the goal of creating a fun and safe place for all children to learn through creativity.

Services Offered

The services we offer as part of our school are diverse as we meet the diverse group of students who we are proud to teach. Recently, we have started a partnership with our associate school, Mo-T-Vate, to offer classes to returnee students. Kikokushijo Japan provides a venue for more advanced English-speaking students who are elementary age to explore academic concepts through fun experiments, group discussions, focused lessons, and class projects. Mo-T-Vate also offers classes for adults who are interested in bettering their English skills as well!
In addition to Mo-T-Vate, our parent company is also happy to announce the re-opening of our daycare section. Aoyama International Daycare and Learning Center is a great chance for parents seeking daycare to enjoy the same experience and positive spirit as Joy to the World, but in a more relaxed daycare-like environment. Like our international school, this program is also an English immersion environment!

Besides these programs, Joy to the World is constantly expanding the range of options for our families to choose from, so look on our webpage if you would like to know what kinds of opportunities are waiting for your family!

Beyond Traditional Daycare

At Joy to the World we hire teachers. Teaching is a highly specialized field. Within this field, childcare is a particularly important focus. We take this responsibility seriously and are constantly searching for ways to improve the quality of our education and the training our teachers receive to be familiar with the most up-to-date issues regarding early childhood development and education.

Although we separate students into classes based on their age, each group of students is composed of individuals. Individuals who have their own passions, potential and personalities. We take the time to alter and design our overall curriculum to be flexible in meeting the diverse learning styles of our students. Parents often comment that they feel like our school is like a family, because we make personal connections with each child and use that personal connection to foster a feeling of safety and freedom.

Steps for Student Motivation and Growth

Early childhood education is so important because it is connected to cognitive and emotional growth. For many students, their journey at Joy to the World begins when they are between 1.5 to 2 years old. With this in mind, we approach education in keeping with the hierarchy of needs. First, children need to know that they are safe, which we do by providing a predictable, calm and positive environment. Singing, dancing and play are all ways we open up children’s trust by providing a fun array of shared activities. After children feel safe, their next need to be met is to feel loved and a sense of belonging. Through reassurement, positive touch, and a stress-free learning environment, children begin to realize that they will be accepted no matter what.

After establishing a loving environment, we begin to encourage esteem by celebrating differences and accomplishments. Outlets for creativity are given as frequently as possible to give children a chance to explore who they are and what they like. We hold that the definition of creativity is knowing that it is not only okay to make mistakes, but that it is all a welcome step on the journey. By the time students graduate from Joy to the World, they will fulfill the last step on their journey which is exploring who they are and how they feel about the world. This is essentially the theory of critical thinking, whereby we all receive and interpret the world through our own experiences. Helping students to this point is a crucial step as they begin to become involved with deciding things for themselves and forming the building blocks for the rest of their lives.

School’s Exclusivity

Joy to the World is unique in the way that we develop relationships with our families. The bond between school and home is an important one, and through our shared responsibility to help these children develop, grow and learn, we form strong connections between our staff and each child’s family. Through this mentality, we have built up an atmosphere and a culture at our school that is well known and regarded amongst our school community.

Following Educational Trends

At Joy to the World, we believe that our responsibility to the children is not only in tracking their progress, but in making progress as professionals to be constantly improving. Professional development is a cornerstone of our school, and we accomplish this in three ways. We hold weekly staff meetings to discuss classes and individual learners.

We highlight areas of concern and take responsibility as a team to understand the problem, research the underlying theory, and make a plan of action. Secondly, we hold training for our teachers throughout the year that can include foundational educational theory, new trends and theories, as well as best practices for kindergartens around the world. The final source of professional development we hold as an important tool in staying up-to-date is our involvement in the Tokyo Association of International Preschools (TAIP). Through TAIP, of which Joy to the World is a founding member, we have access to multiple seminars and training opportunities throughout the year.

Future Plans

As we look towards the future, Joy to the World will continue to strive towards our founding goal, which is to expand our reach, and our philosophy, to impact the lives of as many children as possible. We believe strongly in the culture of positivity and inclusivity that we have achieved after more than 20 years of serving our school community. This atmosphere of trust and belonging is what motivates us to continually search for new and better ways to help our students be more successful. Through our dedicated and talented staff, the support of our families, and the love and happiness we create for students, we look forward to the future everyday. Children are our bright shining tomorrow, and we feel honored to work with these amazing young learners on their journey.

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