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(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers

by Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers
Minnie loves to smile and play with her friends.
Minnie loves to smile and play with her friends.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Supporters and friends of KKOOM play a unique role helping to make a positive impact for the children we serve. KKOOM is currently funding three toddlers to attend school from two children’s homes in the Gyeongsangbuk-do area. We asked their house mothers to share their favorite things they love and their progress in school. 

Minnie is 26 months old and is thriving at the children’s home. When she arrived in late May, her speaking ability was below average. Just seven months later, she articulates herself very well and is curious of her surroundings, always asking “What’s that?” She loves reading books. KKOOM’s Chief Administrator had a chance to read stories about Pinnochio, Sleeping Beauty, and the Ugly Duckling all within 5 minutes to Minnie, as she grabbed the next book in pure excitement before finishing the one at hand. Her favorite cartoon characters are Pororo and Tayo, The Little Car. She loves Pororo and toy cars so much that she asked for a Pororo toy car for Christmas this year. Minnie has a sweet tooth and loves seaweed and miso soup. This is Minnie’s first year of going to school and she enjoys it! You can see from the photos that she loves to color.

KKOOM started funding Jay to attend preschool in early 2019. His favorite things to do are singing and playing with toys. Being 32 months old, he also started speaking at a later age. We asked his house mother if she had any funny stories to share about Jay. One day in the past few months, he suddenly spoke a sentence. Everyone was surprised and laughed together to celebrate the joyous moment. The house mother shares her gratitude with his teacher, “Thank you! Good job!” While Jay gets sad when he cannot go outside, he is most happy when he eats his favorite food, sweet snacks. Jay grows in his confidence every day, while having a stubborn side as well. He loved gardening at school in spring 2019, and enjoys the company of his friends.

Gabby arrived the same day as Minnie but at a different children’s home in late May. She is 33 months old and has blossomed since starting school. Her teacher describes her as the class leader, taking really good care of the other children at school. When she first arrived at the children’s home, she liked to be left alone and didn’t enjoy people holding her. Now, she is slowly warming up to people and allowing them to hug her. Gabby loves Pororo and stuffed animals, especially the large plushie ones. At school, she is learning nursery rhymes and how to draw and cut, which sharpens her fine motor skills. She likes to sing songs, especially the “Three Bears Song,” called “Gom Se Ma Ri” in Korean. So you’ll find her often singing around the children’s home.  

Support from house mothers and teachers, daily interactions and relationships with their peers give Minnie, Jay, and Gabby important social-emotional experiences. By providing these young scholars an education, you are giving them opportunities to shape their personal development, learning, and emotional wellbeing. Being surrounded by a strong community is essential for any child to grow in their self-esteem and character. We are grateful you give these children a new start to be educated and integrated into a positive environment where they can continuously find support, love, and acceptance. 

With gratitude, 

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

Minnie coloring at school.
Minnie coloring at school.
Jay loves having a good time!
Jay loves having a good time!
It's obvious that Jay has a funny side :)
It's obvious that Jay has a funny side :)
Gabby takes good care of other students at school.
Gabby takes good care of other students at school.
Gabby is slowly warming up to people since May
Gabby is slowly warming up to people since May
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Minnie is 23 months old and loves to smile!
Minnie is 23 months old and loves to smile!

KKOOM establishes a community for orphan toddlers outside of the children’s home by funding their preschool costs. The Korean government does not fund school costs for orphan children until they are 4 years old. KKOOM understands this causes an educational gap for the children we serve, so we provide funding as young as two years old, thanks to your generosity. Giving these children access to a school environment is important for a child's development because it builds a sense of self, while learning how to problem solve, set boundaries, and how to share with others. 

Summer 2019 marked a season of new beginnings at two children’s homes we support. Four children arrived all on the same day on May 30th. KKOOM is happy to send two of the newly arrived children to preschool. While we have three preschool scholars now, here is more information about Minnie and Gabby, our newest preschool scholars. 

Minnie is 23 months old. Her house mother describes her as “lively and spirited.” She loves to run, play with the other young children, and walks around with a unique posture similar to an adult. Her signature look is to hold her hands behind her back as she strolls around the children's home. Minnie stays positive through her laughs. Attending preschool helps her build social skills to interact with children her own age as she continues to build her self-esteem. Wherever she goes, her presence in the room is evident with her poise and smile. Minnie exudes joy from the inside out. 

Gabby is 2.5 years old and is naturally a bright and lively child. Her house mother believes she will have no problem making friends in the future because she’s not afraid of approaching others with her kind personality. While she is young, she articulates herself very well. One of Gabby’s strengths is her gratefulness for what she has, including the toys at the children’s home. The value of her education is learning from her peers in a positive environment. 

The attitudes, values, and actions learned at preschool will positively influence Minnie and Gabby’s interactions with peers and adults in the future. We are confident the young toddlers will continue to thrive in school as they build their social and academic skills. The investment you make in their lives is invaluable. Thank you very much for providing a better tomorrow for Minnie and Gabby! 

With gratitude, 

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator 

Gabby is 2.5 years old and is a social butterfly!
Gabby is 2.5 years old and is a social butterfly!
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Jay, KKOOM's preschool scholar, is 26 months old.
Jay, KKOOM's preschool scholar, is 26 months old.

Creativity and curiosity are skills that should blossom in a child’s early development. Natural curiosities, including the art of learning, develop in the preschool environment. KKOOM is proud to provide an early childhood education to toddlers at Korean children’s homes. We started sponsoring Jay to attend preschool earlier this spring. Recently, his house mother answered questions about his interests, progress in preschool, and personality traits.

  1. What does Jay like to do the most?
    • "He likes to ride outside in his (toy) car."
  2. What is his favorite food? What food doesn’t he like?
    • "He enjoys eating marinated meat and ham. He doesn’t like vegetables" (spoken like any child who doesn’t like his servings of green vegetables).
  3. If you could describe his personality in one word, what would it be?
    • "I would say he has a mellow, soft-hearted personality."
  4. What is the biggest change or improvement you’ve seen in Jay since arriving at Emmanuel?
    • "Having older brothers at the children’s home who watch and take care of him have positively impacted Jay."
  5. How does he like preschool?
    • "While adjusting to the school environment well, he likes playing with his friends and riding cars together."

Jay is 26 months old and makes quite the fashion statement at school with his bold red backpack and trendy plaid black and white pants. His curiosity for the world seems to thrive in nature as he carefully plants and waters small flowers. Through his preschool education, Jay is understanding how to tend to a garden. Gardeners do everything possible to ensure that a seed, a plant, survives and thrives in its environment, through extreme temperatures and little or too much rain.

You are planting a seed, giving hope to Jay to grow in a positive environment with as much care and love he needs to grow. Thank you for helping to ensure Jay’s cognitive, social, and academic skills flourish by funding his preschool scholarship. You enrich his life by minimizing the educational gap between him and other children in South Korea. You play a special role in his life and together, we help him believe in tomorrow and the possibilities to succeed.

With gratitude,

-Grace Lee

Jay tends to the garden, watering the flowers.
Jay tends to the garden, watering the flowers.
Jay is developing curiosity as he plants flowers.
Jay is developing curiosity as he plants flowers.
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Jay loves to sing and dance!
Jay loves to sing and dance!

Through your generosity, KKOOM has funded preschool education for 11 toddlers. KKOOM provides a scholarship for two and three year olds in children’s homes to help minimize the educational gap for them. Early education prepares children to be constant learners and to gain valuable life skills. We are excited to have one new preschool scholar starting in March 2019!

Jay is 23 months old and arrived at Emmanuel Children’s Home just four months after his birth. He has a gentle spirit - he doesn’t cry much and eats healthy on his own. While he’s generally mild-mannered, he loves to dance to music. It’s beautiful how young toddlers connect to the rhythm of music. He dances like nobody's watching - just pure bliss.

Not only does Jay like to dance, but he loves to sing! Research shows that singing has similar health benefits as exercise. When you sing, your body releases endorphins and you experience pleasure. Your body also releases the hormone oxytocin while singing, which helps relieve stress and anxiety. Singing is a positive way for Jay to freely express himself without any worries. We hope that as Jay grows, he realizes the power of his voice and confidently pursues his dreams.

At a very young age, structured social interactions are important for children’s healthy development. In preschool, Jay will learn to build strong social and emotional skills such as learning how to express himself and use teamwork to play with other children. Jay will also learn how to cooperate with others through play time and shared meals. Interactions with other children will help develop Jay’s creativity and will provide positive reinforcement in a community setting outside of the children’s home.

Thank you for giving Jay a safe learning environment to grow emotionally, academically, and physically. We appreciate your investment in the lives of Korean at-risk children. KKOOM is grateful for your dedication to uplift the younger generation who will be tomorrow’s leaders.

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HyungJun at Samsungwon's Camping Trip-summer 2018
HyungJun at Samsungwon's Camping Trip-summer 2018

Thanks to your generous support, HyungJun attended preschool in 2018 as a KKOOM scholar. Being three years old, he’s always dancing when he hears music and his house mother said he’s starting to speak. He has grown so much physically and socially since his arrival at Samsungwon Orphanage in July 2017. 

Starting in spring 2019, KKOOM could be sponsoring another toddler to attend preschool. KKOOM is communicating with the staff at Emmanuel Children’s Home to figure out the logistics. We wanted to provide you better insight on how KKOOM sponsors a toddler to attend preschool.

When a new toddler arrives at Samsungwon or Emmanuel, KKOOM provides Welcome Boost Funds of approximately $125 to help purchase clothing and basic necessities for the child. If the child is old enough to start school, KKOOM works closely with the orphanage staff to finalize details. We send a few questions to his/her house mother so we better know the child. The orphanage staff pick a preschool in the area and depending on the time of year, we plan for the child to start the next semester.

In the coming year, KKOOM plans on being able to support both HyungJun and the child at Emmanuel to attend preschool. It costs approximately $333 a month. Your support gives us hope that we can continue improving the lives of Korean children through an education. Nelson Mandela says, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

Thank you for changing this world, one day at a time, by investing in our KKOOM preschool scholars.

With gratitude,

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

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Organization Information

Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Location: Jonesboro, GA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @koreankids
Project Leader:
Grace Lee
Portage, MI United States
$123,619 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,219 donations
$26,381 to go
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