Akita Association of JETs

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(Redirected from AAJ)

The Akita Association of JETs (AAJ) (秋田JET参加者の会) was a volunteer ALT charity group run by JETs in Akita. On June 13th, 2016 the executive committee of Akita Association of JETs passed a charter which among other things renamed the organization to Charity Akita, thus formally terminating AAJ.


AAJ was run by a council of JETs that organized events and activities throughout the year that raised money for various causes. AAJ donated money via the international arm of Room to Read to a library construction project in Laos. AAJ was also the source of funding for the Akita Wiki.

Board members

Year President Vice president Treasurer PR manager Japanese liaison
2015-2016 Alana Stephenson Maeleen Arce Michael Aubrey Joey Griggs Rachel Youngblood Mihoko Kakuta
Year Chairman Vice-chairman Treasurer
2014-2015 Kenneth Grant Dave Johnson Alana Stephenson Lynne Francis Kinza Cooper
2013-2014 Wil Lentze Kenneth Grant Dave Johnson
2012-2013 Sam Brewster Dave Johnson Francesca Costerisan
2011-2012 Ben Levelius Casey Kuester Jessica Stubbs Kaydene Carty


Until 2011, AAJ was known as Akita Room to Read, and donated their profits exclusively to the international arm of that organization. In Late 2010, Akita Room to Read was looking to expand its activities to other groups, and decided to change their name so they would have more flexibility in their donations. Although the original aim of moving away from Room to Read was to support local charities such as orphanages here in Akita, a large portion of it's profits have since been donated to reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by the March 11th Earthquake.

In the 2014-2015 year, several new, smaller events were introduced including Pub Quiz night, Hanami, and the Masquerade Valentine's Party.

In June 2015 it came to light that Kenneth Grant, a 4th year ALT in Oga and the joint AAJ chairman at that time, had embezzled funds from 3 events, 2014 Welcome Party, 2014 Halloween Dance Party and 2015 St. Patrick's Day Party totaling ¥685,116. The amount stolen has been repaid in full and donated to charitable causes. For a summary of how this situation was dealt with, see this statement released by the 2015-2016 executive committee.

Annual Events

  • Welcome Party (September)
  • Akita Orientation Tatami Party (Mid August) - The new cats of Akita gather during their first night of orientation for a night of good food and drink, all for a great cause.
  • Lake Tazawa Camping (Late September) - Camping out under the stars on the shore of Lake Tazawa is a perennial good time.
  • Halloween Dance Party (Late October) - The year's largest fundraising event, roughly 200 people descend on Akita City for a night of costumed revelry.
  • Mid-Year tatami Party (Mid October) - Same as the orientation tatami party, this one is held in the education center on the first evening of the ALT Skill Development Conference.
  • Christmas Caroling (Mid December) - A relatively recent development, JETs gather in from of Akita station for an afternoon to sing Christmas carols for passersby in the hopes of raising money for a nearby orphanage.
  • Appi Ski Trip (February) - Appi Ski Resort in Iwate hosts JETs for a weekend while they show off their skills on the slopes.
  • St. Patrick's Day Party (March) - Usually held around St. Patrick's Day at Studio London (スタジオロンドン 秋田) in Akita City. Decorations and costumes are all about the green.
  • Akita International Sumo Basho (Late June) - The Akita Community's longest running event, participants from all around Tohoku (ALTs and Japanese) come together to learn about the rules of sumo, and get a chance to battle it out in the ring for a chance at the title of Yokozuna.
  • Goodbye Party (July)

Other Events

See also

Charity Akita
V • T
Group History ALT Charity GroupsRoom to Read (2006-2011) • Akita Association of JETs (2011-2015) • Charity Akita (2016- ) Charity Akita.png
Annual Summaries
by JET Year
RtR: 2010 • AAJ: 20142015
CA: 20162017201820192020202120222023
Monthly Events English Cafe
Annual Events Welcome PartyOrientation/SDC Tatami PartiesLake Tazawa CampingHalloween PartyChristmas CarolingAppi Ski TripSt. Patrick's Day PartyInternational Sumo BashoGoodbye Party
Event Procedures Charity Akita Event EquipmentHalloween PartySt. Patrick's Day PartyGoodbye PartyInternational Sumo Basho
Venues SanbōenOrange HouseDreamworldClub AKJamhouseLive space 「四階」CLUB GELAppi Kōgen Ski Resort
One-time Events Spring CarnivalSummer/80s Dance PartiesPub Quiz & Soup Curry NightBlack Hearts Masquerade Cocktail PartyHanami Tea Party