Written by: Roseline Yang, Community Liaison Officer
Many of our parents and even grandparents give their time to the school helping out with various activities. Why do they do it?
According to Chong Lao Lao (K4 Chloe’s grandma, YCIS student since K2 in 2016):
“When your child comes home with a smile every day, you feel very grateful to the people that are taking care of your child, especially when she only says good things about every single teacher she has. Participating in workshops and getting involved at school helped me to better understand the learning environment of my grand-daughter as well as better support her according to the school’s philosophy and practices. Last year, helping the Parent Organization with sorting and sewing uniform as well as for Staff Appreciation was a great way for me to pay back to the school community. Last but not least, my grand-daughter admires my involvement and is happy to see that I care about her and her school.”
Jutta Petznick, in her 6thyear as a YCIS Parent and 3rd year as the Girl Scout Coordinator (mother of Y7 Amelie, YCIS student since Year 1 in 2012) says:
“I like volunteering at school because it makes me feel like part of the community, the place where my daughter spends a lot of time and feels like home. At the beginning when she started at YCIS, she was still was very shy. So, it helped her to settle faster and easier into school knowing her mom was also connected to school. It gave me the opportunity to try out new things and meet a lot of people and connect.”
The school has added many new sports teams in recent years and we rely on our parents to help out as coaches.
Andreas Kolf, is in his 4thyear as a school football coach (Y5 Benjamin’s dad, YCIS student since K2 in 2011). He told us:
“I’m very glad to spend my time with the kids coaching football and to have the opportunity to develop their attitude and skills on and off the pitch. The team has made significant progress over the last couple of years and I’m very proud of my team. “
Bruce Robinson is a veteran coach in his 13thyear as a YCIS Parent and Basketball Coach (Y13 Oliver YCIS student from K4, Class of 2016 Spencer YCIS student from Y3, Class of 2014 Miles YCIS student from Y5 in 2005). According to Bruce:
“Volunteering at school helps me share my passion for basketball and fitness with my sons and YCIS students. Our parent community has many outstanding and experienced individuals that can share their areas of expertise (science, arts, music, sports, etc.) with our school community and add to the quality of education our children are receiving by attending YCIS. I think that the spirit of YCIS comes from our close-knit community where we care about one another and take an active interest, and joy, in seeing any of our children grow and succeed academically, athletically, musically, etc. whether it is being successful at ACAMIS sports tournaments, World Scholars Cup or winning IGCSE Best in China or the World Awards.”
Class Parent Representatives
Each ECE and Primary class has Class Parent Reps and these parents are a great help to the class teachers and play a key role in building class communities amongst the parents.
Huey Loke, 2nd year Class Parent Rep (Y2 Sarah-Joyce, YCIS student since K4 in 2016) tells us why she volunteers:
“I volunteer at YCIS because “it takes a village…“ and we have the nicest, most accepting and generous village at YCIS. I get to learn new stuff, share stuff and have a hoot doing things I have never dreamt that I would be doing. Thank you!”
Sammy Weng, 4th year YCIS Parent and 1st year Class Parent Rep (Y5 Kyle Hsiung’s mom, YCIS student since Year 1 in 2015), explains why she volunteers.
“Volunteering at school helps me to be more involved in my child’s school life and lead by example and teach him that there is a lot to learn and grow when volunteering and contributing at the same time to the community.”
Wei ai Luo, 2ndyear YCIS Parent and 1styear Class Parent Rep (K2 Wayne and K4 Lola’s mom, YCIS student since 2017) also explains why she wants to get involved:
“Being involved at school is a way to know more about the school, meet and learn from other parents. Since I have already had experience with my first child, I volunteered to help new parents navigate in the school.”
POP Core Members
Members of the POP Core Committee are extremely giving of their time and energy. Being on the POP Core involves commitment to helping others and the school.
According to Karen Shih,3rdyear POP Core Member & 3rdyear Girl Scout Leader (Y7 Julia and Y9 Justin, YCIS students since Y4 & Y6 in 2015):
“Volunteering at school gives me some insight into how my children spend their time away from home. By helping with the Girl Scouts and with POP, I get a chance to interact with my children, their classmates and teachers in ways that I would never have, if I just came to performances and school conferences. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people who share a common interest! Last but not least, it’s a way to give back to the community: There are always opportunities to help out at school, and it feels good to share your skills and time with people who appreciate them.”
Linda Yang, 4th year YCIS Parent and 2nd year POP Core member (Y3 Sky, YCIS student since K3) explains why she volunteers to help the school, even though she is a working mother:
“Originally, I volunteered at school to help represent our Chinese speaking population at YCIS. As a full-time working mom, balance between work and family is not always easy. However, since I became a parent volunteer for our Parent Organization Pudong, I feel more connected to the school because I understand better about the activities in which my son is involved and I got to see for different matters how efficient, gentle and diligent the school reacts and tries to solve parents’ issues. Last but not least, I feel that my son is proud of me as part of the school community.“
Harmony Strohm, 1st year POP Core member (Y2 Isla YCIS Student since Y1 in 2017) is one of our newer volunteers. She tells us:
“Considering your children spend 35+ hours of their week at school, the school community (teachers, staff, students, parent volunteers) become an “extended family” that we entrust the care of our children to. This is why it is important to be part of that “extended family”. It is even more important as expats, being far away from our homes and actual families. Because of my work schedule, I tried to join afternoon parent volunteer activities. This is how I came to know about the POP core committee and all their activities and was happy to join in. “The cherry on the top”, my daughter’s face breaks out into a big smile every time she spots me around school volunteering.”
Parent Involvement in the Secondary School may look a bit different than in the ECE and Primary section of the school. The core element is still the same though: being informed about their child’s education, joining meetings and participating in events organised by the school. There is always space for parental involvement and initiative, such as sport coaching or parent-led activities.
A Secondary parent of two, Patrizia Pierini, 4th year YCIS Parent and 3rd year Parent Book Club Coordinator (Y10 Zen & Y12 Maxene, YCIS students since Y6 & Y8 in 2014) explains how she gets involved:
“Joining the Parent Coffee Morning and the events organized in the Secondary School allows me to be informed, engage with the school leaders and support the values and spirit of the school where my children are spending a vast amount of their time.”
Endang Kusianingsih,12th year YCIS Parent (Y12 Ruth joined from K4 and Class 2017 Rachel joined from Y3 in 2006) is a YCIS veteran. She also enjoys participating in the coffee mornings:
“It’s a useful platform where we can meet other parents to discuss about our kids’ problems and exchange parenting tips with each other. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the school leadership team and ask questions to them directly. They are very helpful and I really appreciate all they have done for my kids. “