Dear ABC Friends and Family,
Saturday, June 28 marked the culmination of study, and life and experience in Beijing for many of the 9 students in the Dream Program's Class of 2013-2014. And the start of a new adventure. For each of the students who we had the privilege to train, mentor, live and share experiences with, we are deeply proud of what they have been able to accomplish in just this short period of 1 year. Coming to us as children hoping to improve their English, refine their life skills and get ahead as they prepare for their next stage in life, we sincerely hope that they not only obtained these skill sets, but more importantly, that they were able to find some semblance of "home" within the ABC family. We are certain that they will hold places in our hearts and memories for a long time. And it is our intention to maintain contact with them, and try to be a part of their lives moving forward.
Below are some comments about one of the student's progress from Guihua, Program Manager. Jade was a strong academic performer throughout the year. She had a strong sense of her own capabilities and was therefore able to set realistic goals and expectations for herself in her studies. Jade was able to keep up with the English teacher's pace, and was especially strong in her English writing skills. She was able to learn quickly, express her opinions and act in leadership roles in our core skills and teamwork classes. In computer class, Jade learned how to operate office software, and complete all of her assignments in a timely manner. In her 1 year at ABC, Jade's study habits improved significantly, and she has decided to continue her studies at a technical school post graduation. We are so proud of Jade!
We would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of those who helped to make this last year a success. We hope that we can work together again to care for the incoming 2014-2015 Class arriving in September - Oh! How excited we are!
Best Regards,Zadok Huang
Children, specifically migrant children and orphans, are at the center of ABC program planning and implementation. Sense of accomplishment in working with these children is obtained when a child sees development and progress, whatever areas these may be, from our work. Every year, the Dream Program, which caters to orphans ages 16-21 years old, welcomes a class of about 10-12 students into its family by providing them with loving homes as well as offering them a practical education. Some children see improvement in confidence, some are more willing to present in front of audiences, some learn teamwork skills, and some gain lifetime friendships. We share a story here of one student, Sunny, to provide an example of a child who has shown tangible development, and encouragement for all of those volunteers, sponsors, employees and other benefactors who work so diligently to make our programs run.
Sunny joined us from a rural area where she received her upbringing and education. She struggled with anger in the beginning of our program, and often would use words such as “dog,” “pig,” and “stupid,” to describe other classmates. She would sometimes even engage in physical conflict with some of the male classmates. Through the guidance, care and love of one of our Foster Home Managers, Sunny has begun to learn what words are right and what words are inappropriate to use when communicating with her peers and others. This process of reflecting on her language and behavior has resulted in significant improvement in her social skills. Academically speaking, Sunny came in with a relatively strong English foundation compared with her classmates. She is now able to write a paragraph in English describing one of her friends. In computer classes, Sunny now can type 100 words / minute and is capable of using the basic functions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint software to complete homework.
As the Dream Program Class of 2013-2014 students gear up for the home stretch of their year-long academic program and prepare to participate in the Talent Program’s Spring 2014 volunteer program, we are excited at the prospect of experiencing the process and outcomes of positive change in more childrens' lives.
Dear ABC Family and Friends,
More than four months have passed sinceABC welcomed the DREAM class of 2013-2014 students to our family. Within this period of time, a lot of energy has been spent towards equipping these students with skills to help them transition into society. Below are some highlights from their time here to date.
Welcome PartyAfter a week-long orientation, the nine new 2013-2014 ABC DREAM students finished their transition to ABC at the annual welcome dinner. On Saturday, July 20th, ABC staff and teachers gathered to formally welcome the new students to the DREAM program. The evening started off with an active icebreaker to get everybody energized. The students then introduced themselves and their interests. These introductions were followed by a song. The lively group listened to inspiring speeches from past students, teachers and staff.
Spirit of Giving BackAs part of the DREAM program education, students are given the opportunity to volunteer as teachers for local migrant students. The DREAM students also interact and work with university student and working professional volunteers to accomplish their volunteer work.
On September 7, ABC hosted the TALENT program’s Fall volunteer training day at the Middle School attached to Northern Jiaotong University. 75 volunteers attended, including 31 art volunteers, 16 music volunteers, 21 basketball volunteers, 4 dance volunteers, and 3 photography volunteers. Throughout the semester, volunteers learned team building skills and how to incorporate the 4C values (Commitment, Confidence, Courage and Care) into their classes.
On November 23, ABC hosted its Fall 2013 Talent Program Graduation ceremony for its volunteers, students, and partner schools and teachers. 313 students from 6 different migrant schools, and 144 volunteers and honorable guests attended the event. The day consisted of a basketball tournament, art exhibit and activity, and musical and dance performances.
On the night of November 30, ABC hosted its volunteer appreciation meeting. The meeting was designed to provide volunteers the opportunity to receive recognition for their hard work and dedication. In addition, those attending were able to share their insights, recall memories from the semester and continue building the friendships with the other volunteers.
We take great honor and pride in providing the DREAM students with opportunities to improve themselves as individuals and part of the greater community. Over the remaining 6 months of the program, it is our sincerest hope that each student will acquire a tangible skill and come to know that they are part of a family here at ABC.
On June 22, 2013, ABC saw its 2013 Dream Program students graduate. It is hard to believe that just a year ago these eleven students stood in front of an audience introducing themselves as shy and nervous individuals. The Graduation Party kicked off with these very same students introducing themselves in English in front of an audience full of ABC volunteers, teachers, graduates, and staff. During their introductions, each student described their experiences during ABC, their appreciation for ABC, and their dreams after ABC. For many students, ABC was their first trip and life outside of their hometowns. They arrived shy and cautious but now they leave ABC with more ambition and confidence than they could have imagined.
For ABC friends and family, days like June 22 remind them that ABC is more than an average NGO established to help the lives of underprivileged children. It is rather a network of relationships built on the foundations of education and family. Thus, as the graduates stood before the audience and stated their words of appreciation, one look out into the audience proved just how much of an impact these students have made on the lives of the ABC community. The graduation program continued with a group activity in which everyone had to guess their secret identities only by asking “yes” or “no” questions. Afterwards, the Dream students showcased their performing arts skills in a skit, a musical performance, and a dance. After the medley of performances, students were awarded with their diplomas and gifts. For lunch, guests and students enjoyed appetizing steak and chicken burrito bowls from Avocado Tree while running around signing yearbooks and taking pictures. As ABC bid farewell to the Class of 2013, we know that they are empowered with the knowledge and tools they need to conquer their obstacles and realize their dreams. We hope for nothing but the best for these fellow dreamers.
On May 11, ABC's TALENT Program welcomed 10 volunteers from Kimberly-Clark Beijing Mill and 16 volunteers from Yale Club of Beijing to one of the migrant schools. ABC staff members and volunteers from each organization joined hands to conduct two different art projects with the children. Volunteers from Kimberly-Clark gathered the students and decorated the classroom walls. In light of Mother's Day, volunteers from the Yale Club planned a group art activity which promoted teamwork and imagination with appreciation for mothers. The students were divided into three groups and assigned one of three topics. Based on their assigned topic, each group member drew his or her own artwork and later, all the individual drawings were combined to reveal the group's collective interpretation of the topic.
The following Saturday, May 18, marked the fourth year of the Community Programs event with Goldman Sachs and Community Team Works. Over 25 volunteers from Goldman Sachs joined ABC volunteers for an entire day of basketball scrimmages, music lessons, art projects, and cooking classes. In the afternoon, the volunteers, along with a handful of ABC TALENT students, repainted the outside walls of the school with an added touch of inspiration.
May's CONNECT events continued on Friday, May 28, with volunteers from The Carlyle Group. Despite the heat, Carlyle volunteers spent the afternoon beautifying and re-painting the remaining outside walls of the school. During this time, the volunteers were fortunate to witness the school's afternoon ceremonies, which included singing, dancing, and skits by the students.
Following Carlyle, SEI volunteers visited ABC's TALENT students at another migrant school on Saturday, May 29. In the morning SEI volunteers were split into four groups and assigned to one of the four ABC TALENT programs, baking, basketball, art, and music. In the afternoon, SEI conducted a pre-planned activity. SEI volunteers set up each classroom with different games, similar to an arcade, and had the students rotate between the rooms playing each game and winning tickets that they could exchange for prizes at the prize station. The school was filled with loud cheers and laughter all afternoon.
ABC is grateful to all organizations participating in the CONNECT program for their willingness to serve in a spirit of giving. These events, in addition to the TALENT program weekly classes, both serve as excellent platforms to enrich the DREAM program student's experience through hands-on participation and observation. Through these experiences, it is our sincerest hope that the DREAM program students learn that giving is at least as, if not more, valuable than receiving.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.