Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Germantown celebrates Cherry Blossom Festival

Julia Epps, 6, left, Anna Field, 9, City Representative Sheila Hess, Kanako Field, 5, and Suzy Noda, 6, are seen at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. Photo courtesy of William Foster/Graphite Photography

GERMANTOWN >> Expect Northwest Philadelphia to become home to cherry blossom season.

On the heels of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia earlier this spring, the school will soon be embarking on a beautification project that will transform the landscape of the Germantown area. Though all details were not available by press time, administrators at the school are excited about the follow-up to the event that took place at 100 W. School House Land April 13.

Perhaps no one was more excited about the cherry blossom trees coming to Northwest Philadelphia than Aaron Dilliplane. He represents the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, which was one of the partners that brought the Japanese trees to the deaf school’s campus.

“We have worked before with underserved communities,” Dilliplane said. “We saw this as a great opportunity to work with Subaru. We also wanted to do more for the environment. Trees are so important for the environment. So this was a way to do more in the environmental sphere.

“When we saw where the school was, we thought it was a great location to plant these trees. We had a special program because we wanted to bring a celebratory attitude to the kids. That’s why we even brought in a traditional Japanese storyteller,” Dilliplane said.

The school’s April 13 Cherry Blossom Festival drew 280 guests. The 180 members of the pre-K to 12th grade student body from were in attendance. Among the performers were the Taiko Drumming and the Japanese Folk Tale reading.

Dilliplane said he was impressed that the students responded well to a musical performance that involved Japanese drumming. He soon learned the students, though deaf, could feel the drumming on a more visceral level.

“I loved that they responded so well to the vibrations and this was evident by their smiles and some even hit some of the drums,” Dilliplane said.

“It was quite an eventful week,” said Marja Brandon from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. “The kids got excited to see the blossoms. Subaru was there earlier in the week to plant the cherry trees. Everything was exciting. Though the students cannot hear, they could feel the vibrations. It was just delightful.

“We are one of the few schools in the area that has cherry blossom trees. It is a great idea to have them right along School House Lane. Now everyone knows that it is spring. We getting ready to do some more planting later,” Brandon said. Continued…

Many were able to enjoy the cherry blossom trees at the schools Mother’s Tea and then when the school celebrated its 196th birthday. It hopes the community will come to see the cherry blossoms at more festivities before the school breaks for summer in June.

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is a project of the JASFP. It was created with the support of its title sponsor, Subaru of America. It aims to foster a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan building. The nonprofit JASFP has planted more than 1,000 cherry trees. The first half of these were planted between 1998 and 2007.

Upon completion of its 1,000-tree pledge in 2007, JASGP shifted its focus to plantings in community and neighborhood parks to help green and beautify urban communities. Cherry trees have already been planted in Clark Park, Franklin Square and Morris Park since 2008.

JASGP is an association of individuals, corporation and organizations. It is devoted to fostering relationships between Americans and the Japanese by promoting and encouraging better understanding of the business, cultural, social, education and political practices and customs of Japan and the U.S.

Philadelphia is home to more than 2,000 flowering Japanese cherry trees. It was in 1926 that the city was gifted 1,600 of the flowering tress presented in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence. At the time, the Japanese government did this as a gesture of friendship.

GERMANTOWN >> Expect Northwest Philadelphia to become home to cherry blossom season.

On the heels of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia earlier this spring, the school will soon be embarking on a beautification project that will transform the landscape of the Germantown area. Though all details were not available by press time, administrators at the school are excited about the follow-up to the event that took place at 100 W. School House Land April 13.

Perhaps no one was more excited about the cherry blossom trees coming to Northwest Philadelphia than Aaron Dilliplane. He represents the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, which was one of the partners that brought the Japanese trees to the deaf school’s campus.

“We have worked before with underserved communities,” Dilliplane said. “We saw this as a great opportunity to work with Subaru. We also wanted to do more for the environment. Trees are so important for the environment. So this was a way to do more in the environmental sphere.

“When we saw where the school was, we thought it was a great location to plant these trees. We had a special program because we wanted to bring a celebratory attitude to the kids. That’s why we even brought in a traditional Japanese storyteller,” Dilliplane said.

The school’s April 13 Cherry Blossom Festival drew 280 guests. The 180 members of the pre-K to 12th grade student body from were in attendance. Among the performers were the Taiko Drumming and the Japanese Folk Tale reading.

Dilliplane said he was impressed that the students responded well to a musical performance that involved Japanese drumming. He soon learned the students, though deaf, could feel the drumming on a more visceral level.

“I loved that they responded so well to the vibrations and this was evident by their smiles and some even hit some of the drums,” Dilliplane said.

“It was quite an eventful week,” said Marja Brandon from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. “The kids got excited to see the blossoms. Subaru was there earlier in the week to plant the cherry trees. Everything was exciting. Though the students cannot hear, they could feel the vibrations. It was just delightful.

“We are one of the few schools in the area that has cherry blossom trees. It is a great idea to have them right along School House Lane. Now everyone knows that it is spring. We getting ready to do some more planting later,” Brandon said.

Many were able to enjoy the cherry blossom trees at the schools Mother’s Tea and then when the school celebrated its 196th birthday. It hopes the community will come to see the cherry blossoms at more festivities before the school breaks for summer in June.

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is a project of the JASFP. It was created with the support of its title sponsor, Subaru of America. It aims to foster a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan building. The nonprofit JASFP has planted more than 1,000 cherry trees. The first half of these were planted between 1998 and 2007.

Upon completion of its 1,000-tree pledge in 2007, JASGP shifted its focus to plantings in community and neighborhood parks to help green and beautify urban communities. Cherry trees have already been planted in Clark Park, Franklin Square and Morris Park since 2008.

JASGP is an association of individuals, corporation and organizations. It is devoted to fostering relationships between Americans and the Japanese by promoting and encouraging better understanding of the business, cultural, social, education and political practices and customs of Japan and the U.S.

Philadelphia is home to more than 2,000 flowering Japanese cherry trees. It was in 1926 that the city was gifted 1,600 of the flowering tress presented in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence. At the time, the Japanese government did this as a gesture of friendship.


Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Germantown celebrates Cherry Blossom Festival
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SG Mission: to serve our viewers by providing reliable, valuable, and important Deaf community oriented information in every newcast.