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For the third consecutive year, the Hitachi SCRCAC and the Hitachi Foundation have sponsored Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s gang reduction program, Summer Night Lights (SNL). SNL is part of a newly expanded anti-gang initiative that has been credited with drastic crime reductions. It began with 8 parks and in 4 years has expanded to 32 parks in the highest gang-infested areas of Los Angeles County. The premise is simple: leave the lights on in parks and give youth something to do, keeping them off the streets and out of gang activity. Beginning in July and through Labor Day weekend, the lights are on until midnight from Wednesday to Saturday (the peak times for gang activity). SNL 2011 results included 774,800 participants, 484,250 meals served, and employment of 1,614, including 320 youth squad members. Crime reductions included 35% reduction in gang related Part 1 crime and also gang-related homicides, 43% reduction in aggravated assaults and 55% reduction in shots fired. Members of the SCRCAC also visited parks with the Mayor and SNL staff to get a birds-eye view of this program’s success.
For the second consecutive year, the SCRCAC has funded the Summer Night Lights (SNL) gang reduction program. Initiated by the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa’s office, this program targeted 24 of the worst gang plagued communities in the city and transformed them back into community centers for hundred of thousand of families. SNL provided extended programming between the hours of 7 p.m. to midnight, four days a week throughout the summer months.
“By increasing the number of parks this summer that participate in the Summer Night Lights program, we were able to engage more youth in more neighborhoods to stay off the street and away from crime--achieving the largest reductions in gang related crimes in these areas surrounding SNL parks since the program began,” said Mayor Villaraigosa.
Because of this program, there was a 40% drop in gang related crime in areas surrounding the City’s 24 Summer Night Lights’ parks and recreation centers.
In honor of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s transfer to the California Science Center later this fall, the second annual “Hitachi Celebrates Science” day focused on the theme of Space and its many exciting components.
Sponsored by the Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee and Hitachi Consulting, in partnership with the California Science Center, more than 125 children gathered at the Boys and Girls Club of Harbor City on April 20th which is also declared Hitachi Day by the city. The children, grades first through sixth, were given the opportunity to learn about extreme temperatures, pressure thrust and trajectory through activities and demonstrations including liquid nitrogen, vacuums and rockets.
Favorite among the children seemed to be the launching of their own homemade rockets out in the club’s parking lot. Many shot so high as if they were actually trying to reach space.
The excitement and positive energy surrounding Science Day drew Hitachi executives from as far away as Tokyo, Japan and Washington DC.
Sandra Aceves, 6th grade
Launched in 1986, Los Angeles Times in Education is a nationally acclaimed award winning program that provides thousands of Southern California students and participating teachers, copies of the LA Times to use as learning guides in the classroom.
As sponsor of this program for more than 15 years, Hitachi created a poster contest in which students were asked to design posters specific to causes relevant to society today and show a solution or prevention. In the past, safe communities was the topic, but within the past two years, global warming has become the relevant issue.
German Velasquez, 9th grade
More than 250 poster entries were received from students grades sixth through eighth and grades nine through twelve. One grand prize winner was chosen from both the middle and high school participants. Each winner received a $100 American Express gift card, and they also each won a Hitachi 46 “ LED television to be used at the school’s discretion. This year’s winners were sixth grader Sandra Aceves from Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy and ninth grader German Velasquez from Hollywood High School.
Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, Jun Niimi was also on hand to present Sandra with her award and to speak about efforts to reduce the effects of global warming in Japan.
For over ten years, the SCRCAC and the Hitachi Foundation has been the title sponsor of the Hitachi Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship given to each of the five winning team members of the Department of Water and Power’s annual Science Bowl. The Regional Science Bowl Competition, held in Los Angeles, is an all-day “hands-on” and “buzzer” competition event held on the last Saturday in February. Schools compete for the coveted Hitachi scholarship, in an exciting winner take all competition. North Hollywood High School defeated Sherman Oaks (who came in a distant second) and will go on to represent L.A. in the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl held in Washington DC in May. With several sponsors of this event, Hitachi is the only sponsor allowed to approach the stage, greet the students and parents, and present the scholarship certificates and trophy. The event is televised on Timer Warner’s Cityview (Los Angeles 35) and also will air on KLCS Channel 58 and stream live on lacityview.org. Credits were also given on air by Time Warner’s Cityview and listed on LADWP’s website, as well as everywhere this top story appears. Sometimes referred to as the Science “Oscars,” North Hollywood has won an “Oscar” 14 of the 15 years they’ve entered the competition.
Sharanelle Clark, a representative from Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas ~ Los Angeles Community Action Committee and the Southern California Regional Community Action Committee, recently participated in the county wide Principal For A Day effort. Schools are matched with businesses in an effort to make introductions, understand challenges and possibly form on-going partnerships. With all of the recent commotion in our schools, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to shadow a principal and understand the issues today’s students, teachers and principals confront on an on-going basis. Matched with Virginia Road Elementary School in South Los Angeles, Sharanelle attended school assemblies, where she was given the opportunity to greet the students. She also had an opportunity to visit the classrooms, see students engaged in learning, and answer questions that students had about the companies and careers. She also enjoyed yard supervision during recess and lunch and interacted with the students. A few fights broke out but were immediately dealt with by the principal and school police. “All in a day’s work,” the principal said. Sharanelle left with a very healthy respect for all that principals do and their very important role in educating today’s students.
For the past 15 years, the Japan America Society of Southern California has presented their Kite Festival which includes kites not just from Japan but from all over the world. This past October, the Kite Festival ,which attracted more than 12,000 attendees, included games for children, Japanese food and cultural booths, a Taiko Drum performance and stunt kite demonstrations. More than 240 students from LA’s Best After School Enrichment program at 68th Street Elementary were bused in to participate in the Kite Festival. The students spoke with excitement about how much they enjoyed the festival.
Hitachi, who served as partial sponsor of the Kite Festival, also sponsored the Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshops for underserved children in the greater Los Angeles area. This year’s workshops were conducted by Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki ,who offered a “hands-on”, in classroom experience that provided a positive introduction to Japan and the Japanese culture through the building of a small, traditional Japanese kite made of bamboo and washi (Japanese paper).
This year, 12 schools and 1008 students participated in the workshops. Since the inception of the kite workshops in 2001, nearly 7,000 children have benefited from this program. And according to the children, the best part of these workshops is the chance to actually fly the kite.
Each summer, more than 3,000 children throughout the Los Angeles area participate in the California Science Center’s Hands-On Science Camp. This camp incorporates physics, chemistry, biology, space and earth sciences in weeklong day camps for grades pre-school through 8. Over 80 classes are taught by educators with degrees in science and/or education.
To help enhance the children’s already increasing enthusiasm of the scientific world, Hitachi High Technologies has lent the Science Center it’s latest Tabletop Microscope TM 3000 for the duration of the summer camp. Some of the classes will be using the microscope to look at ants and other insects, while others will look at various materials and samples from the science world.
The simplicity of this microscope enables all users to image their samples and to obtain high quality, high resolution images within minutes. The microscope is as easy to use as a digital camera and is easily transportable as well.
Hitachi has had a long standing relationship with the Science Center, including continuous sponsorship of the Big Lab program by the SCRCAC. The Big Lab is a unique environment incorporating large scale equipment to encourage hands-on learning and to excite students and educators about doing science.
Two hundred and fifty children, many from low income areas of Los Angeles, experienced just how exciting science can be, as they participated in the first ever “Hitachi Celebrates Science” day this past April.
The Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee (SCRCAC) and Hitachi Consulting, in partnership with the California Science Center, hosted this event at the Boys and Girls of the South Bay.
Educators from the Science Center and Hitachi Chemical Research Center in Irvine, led the group, ages six to fifteen, in an array of science experiments, including bouncibility, glow slime and indicators. Close to 30 Hitachi employees and several staff members from the Boys and Girls Club helped to ensure that each experiment was done correctly and the event ran smoothly. Most popular was the eruption of a model volcano which taught the children about the acidity of various drinks. Another popular activity was the bouncing of their just made super balls around the club’s gymnasium.
For more than 15 years, the Hitachi Ltd. Los Angeles office has been a sponsor of the Los Angeles Times in Education program. This program helps to provide teachers with a variety of nationally acclaimed curriculum guides to help students sharpen their academic skills and make the connection between classroom and real life applications taken from the daily newspaper.
As part of this program, Hitachi created a poster contest in which grand prize winners from both a junior and senior high school are awarded a $100 American Express gift cheque and a 42” Hitachi LCD television which is presented directly to the school.
Because Hitachi wants to promote greater understanding of global warming among students and parents, students were asked to create artwork or photography that shows a solution or prevention to global warming.
More than 250 posters were received, many of which were beyond exemplary. The grand winners, Emilee Truong an 8th grader from Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel and Anthony Villalobos, a 12th grader from Birmingham High in Van Nuys, received their awards at a March ceremony presented at each school.
In a first ever partnership, Hitachi Transport System (America) (HTSA) in Torrance, CA. recently donated 4,500 square feet of warehouse space to the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. This space will be used to store disaster relief items such as cots, water, blankets and other materials, and will significantly increase the Red Cross’ readiness to respond to disasters of all sizes. In addition, HTSA has offered to train Red Cross volunteers as forklift operators, which will allow supplies to be retrieved more quickly. Mr. Yasuo Nakatani, president of HTSA, said “This is the start to a growing relationship and we hope to provide further support to the Red Cross in the future.”
In celebration of its fifteen years of community service, the Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee (SCRCAC), invited Hitachi executives and leaders of several non profit organizations to attend their annual manager’s luncheon this past September.
The luncheon was an opportunity for the non-profits to interact and exchange ideas with each other. It was also a chance to offer the Hitachi managers a glimpse at the impact these non-profit organizations have in their communities. Representatives from the non profit organizations The Painted Turtle, Zeta Rho, Community Services Program and Summer Night Lights sat on a panel and discussed what inspires their organization and themselves as leaders. Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation served as the moderator.
Since it’s inception in the fall of 2001, the Hitachi, Ltd. LA Office has been the sponsor of the Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshops. Coordinated and organized by the Japan America Society of Southern California, these workshops benefit the underserved school children in the greater Los Angeles region. The workshops are conducted by Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki, and when available, more additional kite masters. Hitachi employees are also on had to serve as volunteers.
These workshops are “hands on” in classroom experiences that introduce Japan and Japanese culture through the building of a small, traditional Japanese kite made of bamboo and washi (Japanese paper). Once the kites have been completed by each child, a mini kite festival is held on the schoolyard where some children will have flown a kite for the very first time.
This past October, more than 600 students participated in workshops at eight different schools. To date, nearly 6,000 underserved students have benefited from this program.
Continuing their mission of providing volunteer and financial support to their surrounding communities, the Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee visited the Boys and Girls of the South Bay and presented the Universal Design program to more than 40 school age children.
The idea behind Universal Design is the idea of making products and services easy to use for all people, regardless of their age, gender, cultural background or physical condition. The children, who were divided into several groups, were asked to design a TV remote that could easily be used by anyone.
Creativity flourished as groups designed remotes with features for the blind, as well as going high tech, and designing remotes that could also be used as telephones, as well as screens that could be used to watch movies and videos.
Kazuyuki Miyanaga, Senior Manager, CSR Promotion Department, Hitachi, Ltd., is the guiding force behind this program. “It is very exciting to see the positive response we have received to this program. The information conveyed to the students is very important in terms of improving the quality of life for everyone in our communities.”
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With many families struggling during the holiday season, the employees of Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc-Los Angeles (HIAMS) decided to take a more personal approach in helping those in need this past December. They first searched for families among employee contacts. When the search didn’t turn up any prospects, the employees agreed to hold a toy drive for a kindergarten class at an elementary school in Compton, CA. The employees wanted to know where the gifts were going and who they would be impacting.
The proud recipient of the HIAMS toy drive was Celerity Charter School, a Title 1 school with underserved students that have great potential for success. For two weeks, the HIAMS employees collected age appropriate toys for the little scholars and personally presented them to their class. Since the entire Hitachi crew could not be there, they took a group photo and gave it to the children. When the gifts were presented, the children were pleasantly surprised and could hardly believe it. One child even said, "This is for me? I get to keep it?"
Being a smaller office, the HIAMs employees were happy to donate to a smaller setting and to know that their efforts weren’t lost in the shuffle. They also received cute handwritten and decorated thank you cards and have now made friends for life.
Hitachi, Ltd Los Angeles Office and Hitachi America, Ltd. (HAL) recently partnered together to host the LAGRANT Foundation Career Development Workshop in New York City.
The mission of the LAGRANT Foundation is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. To date, the Foundation has provided $1.31 million to 185 scholarship recipients.
Held at the HAL office in Manhattan, the workshop focused around the themes of Hitachi’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform and brand and corporate communications. Special guest, Takashi Hatchoji, HAL chairman, welcomed the students and provided comments regarding his knowledge about Hitachi’s communications efforts.
More than 20 grad students from NYU, Columbia and Medgar Evers Universities attended this event.
Honored for their commitment to helping those in need, the Hitachi SCRCAC recently received the 2012 Philanthropist Award from the Community Service Programs Youth Shelter (CSP) in Santa Ana, CA. In partnership with CSP for more than ten years, Hitachi has funded the organization’s youth shelter, at risk summer program, provided food from the yearly Hitachi food drive and has collected pennies from employees to donate back to the shelter.
CSP was established in 1972 as a non-profit agency committed to serving youths, adults and families living in Orange County who are involved or are at risk of involvement with the justice system. Twelve model programs assist over 106,000 persons a year- abused children, struggling families, acting out adolescents and people in need of mediation services. The organization is celebrating 40 years of service to the community.
During the summer when the need is greater for food donations, the Hitachi group companies once again came together to participate in the 13th annual Hitachi North America Food drive.
During the months of July and early August, 51 teams representing 26 Hitachi companies in 19 states, DC and one location in Canada, came together as One Hitachi to collect more than 35,000 pounds of food and $135,000 in cash donations.
More than 7400 employees participated in this food drive which was themed after the 2012 Summer Olympics. Several companies showed creativity with their food drive collections, including one company who, in line with the theme, had a special appearance from the Oueen of England and her Royal Guard (not the real one) . Another company participated in CANstruction, a worldwide competition to design giant sized structures made entirely out of canned food. A poster contest was also new this year, presenting awards in such categories as best new idea, best use of North America theme and best local geographical theme.
Combining the pounds and dollars collected by One Hitachi, the total amount of meals would equal more than 1 million or 1,055 people would get three meals per day for one year.
In honor of their continued support and involvement with the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay, the Hitachi SCRCAC and Hitachi Consulting recently received the organizations’ Volunteer Partner of the Year Award.
Recognized for their participation in Hitachi Celebrates Science Day, Universal Design Day and their annual serving of a Thanksgiving meal to the Boys and Girls Club members and families, Hitachi representatives received the award at the Harvest Keystone Dinner held this past September at the Toyota USA Automotive museum.
Sponsored by the Magic Johnson Foundation, more than 200 representatives from corporations, non profit and governmental organizations were on hand to honor Hitachi and its continuing efforts to help make the communities in which they do business a better place to live.
The objective of the Boys & Girls Club of the South Bay is to positively affect the lives of as many children as facilities and resources will allow. The organization holds firm to the belief that keeping children away from trouble is not the most difficult task in the world if you provide a place that is nurturing, fun, creative and welcoming for them.
In an area where poverty levels are so great, Hitachi group employees came together this past holiday season to help make the holidays even brighter for some of these children who live in this area.
Hitachi Transport System (America), (HTSA) kicked off the season by sponsoring the seventh annual “We Are Family Thanksgiving Celebration” to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay. This event was a great opportunity for employees to interact with the children and their families and to see first hand the impact Hitachi has made in their lives. Employees from Hitachi Chemical Research Center (HCR) also joined in on the celebration and helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to the club members and families. On behalf of the Hitachi group, HTSA employees also collected more than 100 toys and presented them to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club this past Christmas. More than 400 youth and their families attended the holiday party and received both a toy and a book. The highlight of the party was when Santa arrived on a Harley motorcycle and took pictures with all the kids.
This past summer, a challenge was presented to Hitachi group companies in all of North America. They were requested to increase the number of pounds of their food drive donations by at least ten percent from the previous year.
Not only did the 51 teams in 57 locations reach the ten percent, but many went over the total, giving the total pounds of food collected at 58,349, a total of more than 12, 000 pounds over last year. The amount of cash donations also increased from $80,000 to $92,000.
As part of the food drive activities during the month of July, employees and family members of the Hitachi SCRCAC and Hitachi Consulting participated in the Second Harvest Orange Gleaning in an orange field located in Santa Ana. The two groups combined picked more than 7,000 pounds of oranges, many of which were going to the local senior centers and boys and girls clubs.
During the months of July and early August, the Hitachi group companies in the United States and Canada are joining together in support of their 12th annual nationwide food drive.
The summer months can be especially difficult for families facing hunger due to free and reduced fee lunches not being available, making this food drive even more important.
One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. Hunger is also a silent epidemic that affects more than 49 million Americans.
As part of a friendly competition between Hitachi group companies in Southern California, more than 40 Hitachi employees and their families, participated in the second Hitachi Beach Volleyball Tournament this past March in Hermosa Beach.
Competing for the “ultimate” Hitachi volleyball trophy, Hitachi Consulting, Hitachi Transport System and Hitachi Chemical, battled it out on sand in a practically non-stop round robin style tournament.
Eventually, Transport and Consulting, both equally matched, headed to the finals. Even after an injury to one of their players, Transport, with a score of 15 to 13, won the game and had the honor of capturing the grand prize trophy. A rematch is scheduled in August as part of the “Hitachi Happenings” day.
The news is hard breaking and the photos are almost too hard to bare. The earthquake and Tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 was devastating to not only Japan but to the whole world. Hitachi, along with hundreds of other companies have stepped in to try and provide some relief to the country which is such a great friend to the U.S. As part of this effort, Hitachi, Ltd has donated $3.7 million (3 million yen) to the American Red Cross. For further information on Hitachi’s earthquake relief efforts and general information, please go to http://hitachi.com/New/cnews/index.html
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