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M-469 Brightwood Elementary PTA Scrapbook by Fujiko Oshita, 1972

ABSTRACT: Brightwood Elementary PTA Scrapbook made by Fujiko Oshita and presented to Association president, Janet Iwata.

SCOPE: This scrapbook documents the 1972-1973 school year activities of the Brightwood Elementary School PTA of Monterey Park, California, a San Gabriel Valley suburb east of Los Angeles. This incredible vernacular collection provides a dense primary record of elementary education in Southern California from a pronounced Japanese-American viewpoint that is rooted firmly in the era of second-wave feminism. Highlights of the book include multiple issues of organization's newsletter, Brightwood Bark; numerous class publications and programs; original photographs of PTA members and activities; and clippings from The Rafu Shimpo Japanese-American daily newspaper. Much of the book focuses on Janet and her leadership role in the PTA as she strengthened parent-teacher relations and advocated for students on a variety of issues including an end to corporal punishment, a scholarship fund, an expanded guidance counseling program, and a proposed consolidation with a nearby district.

EXTENT: Approx. 210 page scrapbook.

HISTORY: The scrapbook was presented to the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, the umbrella organization of the PTA, to be used for publicity. It later won an award for excellence at the 1973 California state conference in San Francisco.

An October 1972 clipping with an image of Janet and her three children notes she previously worked as an occupational therapist and that her husband Lewis A. Iwata (whom records show was interred at Heart Mountain concentration camp) managed logistics for a nearby freight company.

ACCESS: This collection can be viewed on-site in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page . The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus. 

PREFERRED CITATION: The preferred citation for this collection is “From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis."