28 Nov, 2013
10 : 00
Students learn about many things during their time at school: maths, literacy, language, and much more. At YCIS, students also have the opportunity to learn the value of giving back to others, and one way this happens is by supporting the school’s charity, called Seeds of Hope, which was formed by YCIS in 2008 in response to the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.
Throughout each school year, students and parents raise funds for Seeds of Hope in a number of ways, and a new Seeds of Hope school is established every year in a region in which YCIS has a school. Beyond fundraising efforts, students are also able to join school trips to visit and volunteer at the Seeds of Hope schools. In doing so, they are able to experience helping others improve their lives first-hand. Recently, a group of Secondary students and staff from YCIS Shanghai, along with their counterparts from YCIS Qingdao, took part in a trip to teach kindergarten and primary students at the Seeds of Hope School in Qufu, China.
As soon as the groups arrived at the school they began teaching lessons, in order to maximise their time with the local students. The YCIS students were divided into teams to lead the learning activities, which included English, music, PE, and story and craft lessons. During recess time, the YCIS students played games with the younger students, helping the children develop new skills while having fun.
The experience of visiting and teaching at Seeds of Hope schools gives YCIS students the opportunity to share the things they have learnt in school, and to demonstrate the positive character traits they have studied as part of YCIS’s Character Education programme. According to Mr Leo Lazo, a Youth Worker/Counsellor at YCIS Shanghai, YCIS students demonstrated initiative during the recent trip on a number of occasions. “Our students did not need to be reminded of what to do; they stepped right up and took responsibility in carrying out their projects,” Lazo said, adding that the students displayed other important traits throughout the trip, as well, including generosity and enthusiasm.
At YCIS, opportunities such as the Seeds of Hope trips provide students with the chance to help others, with a profound effect, because, as Lazo noted, “It is one thing to be taught the theoretical values of character development; it is another to actually live them out.” Lazo added that YCIS students always return home with a deeper appreciation for the things they have and a sense of sharing the blessings they have received, which reinforces the positive character traits they have studied at YCIS Shanghai, resulting in lessons that last a lifetime.