(KKOOM) Early education for Korean orphan toddlers

by Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission
Vetted
J.H., 21 mos., started preschool last month
J.H., 21 mos., started preschool last month

In June, J.H., now 21 months old, started preschool thanks to your help. He is the 9th toddler to attend preschool thanks to KKOOM's early education program for Korean orphan toddlers, which is funded by GlobalGiving supporters.

We asked J.H.'s house mom at Samsungwon, the orphanage, where he lives to give us a little background about him. She says that he's bright and laughs a lot, enjoying running and playing in addition to music. He likes to dance and smile. J.H., his house mom says, is rather fearless and is good at imitating other people's actions and shows a lot of curiousity about others. At first he is shy around new people, but he warms up to them pretty quickly.

He was bored staying at the orphanage home all day long, while the other kids went to school. In fact, he was so bored and curious that at 19 months old, he found his way into the toilet on a few occassions, splashing around for just a brief moment before he his house mother promptly removed and scolded him! We are hoping that an upcoming trip to a water park and another riverside excursion will give him the opportunity to enjoy swimming in the proper kind of water!

In any event, now that J.H. is going to preschool five days a week, he is learning to get along with other kids his age, since he is the only toddler in his orphanage room. He is adjusting to the preschool rules and routines--which was a bit of a challenge at first!--and experiencing many new things through the activities and lessons at preschool.

Without this program, toddlers like J.H. would have to stay at the orphanage home, without going to preschool, for a full 2 more years, until they are about 48 months old. It is clear that J.H.'s development is being irreversibly affected for the better thanks to starting him off in preschool at the same time as his peers (non-orphans typically begin attending preschool in the year in which they turn 2 years old). 

We wouldn't be able to do this work without your support, so thank you for your gifts to KKOOM via GlobalGiving. As always, if you have any questions about our work, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
J.H. is an active little guy!
J.H. is an active little guy!
Waiting for the preschool van to go to school!
Waiting for the preschool van to go to school!

Links:

SH started preschool in Jan. 2016.
SH started preschool in Jan. 2016.

As you likely know, if you've been supporting this project for sometime, toddlers ages 2 and 3 (international age) living in Korean orphanages are unable to attend preschool because the government does not provide funding until the children turn 4. With the help of a local preschool in Gumi, KKOOM began sending 2 and 3 year olds to preschool at a discounted tuition rate using funds raised here on GlobalGiving.

In this project report, we are delighted to introduce you to the 8th KKOOM preschool toddler, SH, who will soon turn 2 years old (US age). He began preschool, thanks to your support, in January 2016 when he reached 20 months old.

SH arrived in the orphanage in February 2015 along with two older siblings and quickly proved that he was quite intelligent and curious. His caretaker wanted to send him to preschool at the earliest opportunity due to his inquistive nature and the fact that he was bored at the orphanage home all day after the older children left for school. He would frequently go into his orphanage siblings' bedrooms, pull out their belongings, look for new things, and make a mess, just out of sheer boredom. 

Sending SH to preschool gives him much needed access to peers his age, and he has been able to make friends and receive positive attention from kind and caring teachers at the preschool. Like many other kids, who come to orphanages due to unfortunate circumstances, SH lacks certain basic social skills, which are typically built in a loving environment. 

SH's caretaker shares that SH is introverted and shy, but one he warms up to you, he shows his playful and cute side, including dancing and waving actively. SH's caretaker reports that SH is always happy to go to preschool when the van arrives in the morning. His teacher at the preschool says that he is eager to learn new things, clearly a smart little guy. Additionally, SH has started talking now that he is attending preschool, and we think this is just the first of many developments to come as SH continues preschool for the next 4.5 years.

We can't change the circumstances that brought kids like SH to orphanages in Korea (in SH's case, parental abuse), but we can certainly, with your help, change their outcomes. With much needed care, attention, and education, we are hopeful that kids like SH can have a positive future and grow up to be loving and contributing members of society.

KKOOM certainly could not do this work without your generous financial support and ongoing interest, so we're extremely grateful that you took the time to read this update. If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to contact me directly. Thank you so much for your trust and gifts.

Regards,

Aimee

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
JY has many cute and curious faces!
JY has many cute and curious faces!

In the fall of 2011, we discovered that toddlers ages 2 and 3 (international age) living in Korean orphanages are unable to attend preschool because the government does not provide funding until the children turn 4. With the help of a local preschool in Gumi, we began sending 2 and 3 year olds to preschool at a discounted tuition rate. To date, we've been able to send 7 children to preschool two years earlier than they would otherwise be able to attend without KKOOM fund.

The most recent KKOOM preschool child is JY. He arrived at Samsungwon when he was about 2 months old. He was abandoned on the steps of a nearby hospital and is one of the few "true orphans" at Samsungwon. At first he was very malnourished, but once he began eating regularly and growing healthily, his house mom at Samsungwon discovered that he was quite an active little baby with a lot of curiosity.

Previously, we sent children to preschool beginning at 24 months, but given JY's rapid development, we decided to send him to preschool at 20 months this March. We were a little worried about how he would adjust, but he was very excited to ride in the preschool van with the other older children from the orphanage when it came to pick him on the first day. Ever since then, he has enjoyed riding in the van.

As a result of attending preschool, JY has learned the names of animals, types of cars, and other common items. He's also good at putting together blocks, like Duplos. At preschool, JY also has the opportunity to meet other toddlers his age and learn how to play together.

If JY did not have the opportunity to go to preschool, he would spend the weekdays at home with the Samsungwon staff and would not get to interact with others his age. His house mother predicts that JY would not know nearly as many words and would be behind others his age when the time finally came for him to go to school. After seeing JY and others to go to preschool with KKOOM's support, JY's house mother says she can't imagine how bored JY would be if he had to stay at home all day.

Starting next month, in January 2016, we will send another 20-month-old toddler to preschool. We look forward to sharing more information about him in our next update. 

As always, thank you for your support to KKOOM through GlobalGiving. We appreciate not only your financial gifts, but also your encouragement and participation in our work. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Happy New Year!

Aimee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
JY is now 28 months old.
JY is now 28 months old.
Minho, US age 4, August 2015
Minho, US age 4, August 2015

Minho is a Korean orphan who was born with special needs. He has very small kidneys, which doctors think is the reason he has developed very slowly. He started walking after he was 2 years old, and now 4, he is still not talking. 

Minho attends preschool with other special needs kids 5 days a week, and he is now old enough to receive the government subsidy, which pays for his preschool. 

Thanks to your support, however, KKOOM has been sending Minho to extra physical therapy sessions on a regular basis for the last 2 years. These extra sessions help Minho build strength, control and confidence in his body.

On a recent visit with Minho in Daegu, he showed a lot of curiosity toward a few small dogs in the park and was generally happy to be outside. He was even happier when we took him to eat one of his favorite foods, bulgogi (marinated Korean beef), at a nearby restaurant. 

Jinyoung is a 2-year-old Korean orphan who was abandoned on the steps of a small hospital when he was just a few months old. From the beginning, he was a very active and healthy baby, and he is doing very well in preschool. As we reported last time, Jinyoung started preschool in March 2015, and he adjusted to the new environment without issue. He now attends preschool for a full day with the older children at the orphanage.

KKOOM's support makes it possible for Korean orphan toddlers like Jinyoung to start preschool before the government subsidy becomes available to them at age 4. Hence, your support of KKOOM is what makes it possible for Jinyoung to develop the basic social and academic skills he needs to succeed later in preschool and elementary school. 

This summer, Jinyoung visited a water park with the other children in his orphanage, and he had a great time, as you can see in a few of the photo collage pictures. He was actually very upset when he was told it was time to get out of the water! He is definitely a strong (and strong willed) (not so) little guy. I predict that he will be quite athletic as he grows up!


We certainly couldn't do this without your support, so thank you, thank you, thank you for your interest in and support of our toddler education program. If you ever have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best regards,
Aimee

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
Jinyoung, US age 2, August 2015
Jinyoung, US age 2, August 2015
Minho, US age 4, August 2015 (collage)
Minho, US age 4, August 2015 (collage)

Links:

Jinyoung and his house mom
Jinyoung and his house mom

Thanks to your help, our newest toddler has started preschool this March, and he is doing very well! Jinyoung is just 19 months old, but he is a quick walker (runner) and has a huge appetite. We were worried that the preschool would ask us for additional money to support his lunch expenses -- but so far, they've just laughed it off. :-D

At first, the staff members at both the orphanage and the preschool were a little worried about his adjustment because of his young age. They decided to start him off on half days for the first month to let him get used to preschool. After the first week, everyone -- including Jinyoung himself -- had determined that he was well adjusted, playing with the older kids and following along to the teacher's instruction.

Jinyoung's house mom (pictured with Jinyoung on his first day of preschool) says, "I am so thankful to KKOOM for their support and for sending Jinyoung to preschool. He is a very curious and smart little guy, and I have huge hopes for him to do well. He'll get to experience so many new things in preschool that he wouldn't be able to do at (the orphanage) home."  When asked about his strengths, Jinyoung's house mom says that he has good motor skills. He likes to stack blocks and play (or pound on, as the case may be) the piano; he also seems to have an interest in soccer, kicking and chasing after the ball with great enthusiasm. 

If KKOOM did not send Jinyoung to preschool, Jinyoung would probably be bored at the orphanage home without proper education or stimulation.  Volunteers might come in to play with him one-on-one or teach him at the home, but he would not be surrounded by other children his age. This is because all of the 4 year olds and up go to preschool and regular schools, so he would be left, essentially, home alone with his house mom. Houses parents at orphanages are not generally trained in early childhood education, rather having degrees in children's social welfare, so it is especially important that toddlers like Jinyoung get to go to preschool like the rest of Korean children their age.

Hence, we're glad to be able to give Jinyoung and his energy a new outlet by being able to send him to preschool with your support. We are sure that he is building a solid foundation for his future educational success.

As always, if you have any questions about our work, please feel free to contact me personally. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you again sincerely for your help.

Best regards,

Aimee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
Jinyoung enjoys dinner
Jinyoung enjoys dinner

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Location: Portage, MI - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.kkoom.org
Project Leader:
Aimee Jachym
President
Portage, MI United States

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