Written by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer
As the African proverb says: “It takes a village to raise a child”. At YCIS we believe that our students’ learning should come from many different sources not just the classroom. One of the most important of these sources is from parents and the school community. Therefore, YCIS greatly values and appreciates input and contributions from our parents to support and work together to improve life within our school community.
Three examples of new parent initiatives to better our school community have really stood out this school year:
YCIS parents are always hoping that the students can become responsible for their own belongings and if they lose their things at school, we want them to find them by themselves. A group of parents from different countries worked together to observe how the lost and found box was utilized and organized. They discussed options to improve the lost and found box with the Parent Organization Pudong (POP) and Parent Relations staff. After trialing different home-organization systems to see how user friendly they were for students, an appropriate process was finalized and now with the support of the ayis, lost items are sorted by types, clothes are hung, and students can find lost things easily.
It was a good opportunity for parents to collaborate with the school and contribute to the improvement of our students’ school life. The parents were able to bring their knowledge and skills to improve an existing school system originally established by the cleaning support staff.
YCIS parents are always hoping that the students can develop their friendship circles, self-confidence, and creative skills at school. That is what led one parent whose child was new to school and a bit introverted to suggest hosting an arts & craft activity during recess time. This had been a successful program at her child’s previous school. After reaching out to the Parent Relations staff, her draft proposal was then taken to the Primary Leadership Team who examined the details and feasibility and suggested the parent leader to first run a pilot test during the Year 4 and 5 recess. After several trials, great interest from the students, and support of parent volunteers (set-up/clean-up), it was then carried out through the other year level recess time on Wednesdays.
This initiative has enriched the weekly lives of our students. However, it is sustainable only if parents continue to volunteer an hour of their time to host it each week.
Chinese Painting, Sewing Clothes for ECE Dolls, and Chinese Tea
YCIS Parents and Guardians are always happy to support the school and school community. This is why after her 3rd year at YCIS, Chong Lao Lao (also known as Grandma) has been helping with three different projects:
- She introduced her husband, Mou Yue who kindly offered his skills as Professor of Chinese Painting to our community by providing workshops to ECE children and to YCIS parents. In the month of April and May, a Chinese Painting club has been created with the support of two parent volunteers.
- She is currently helping with a sewing project that was suggested by ECEcCoordinators to create clothes for ECE dolls that were initially purchased to support the ECE Life Skills programme. Since last year, Grandma has shown her advanced skills for sewing by supporting the Seeds of Hope Upcycling Uniform project, parents had expressed an interest in learning how to use sewing machines. This was a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. This project still needs learners or helpers to finish up the 20 set of clothes for the dolls, so that ECE children can play with them. Another project sprouting is the upcycling uniform project. Volunteers are welcome and needed!
- Before Qingming Festival Holidays, she kindly introduced us to a parent in the community who is knowledgeable in Chinese tea. Two sessions were already held in K4 classes and we are in the process of planning a workshop for parents, as well.
We welcome parents who want to get involved in the school by volunteering at one of our many events or by bringing new ideas to make a positive impact on the community.
Did you know about these existing services created by parents to support the school community?
- School Uniforms: Donating, re-using and recycling school uniforms (a small team of parent volunteers have set-up a process for donations, sorting and recycling)
- Second-Hand Books: Donating and buying second-hand books to raise money for charity (this is usually held during big school events or Parent Teacher Interviews at Regency Park Campus)
- Second-hand items Wechat Platform: Creating a WeChat platform for selling second-hand objects
- Moms that Care: A support group for the school community (parents who gather on a monthly basis throughout the year)
- Girl Scouts:Gathering and providing learning opportunities for students to enhance their character education, leadership and cooperation skills (parent volunteers who lead small troops on a monthly or bi-weekly basis throughout the year)
- Class Parent Representatives: to improve the flow of communication from teachers to parents and within each classrooms’ parent community.
- Parent Organization Pudong: A group of parents who set-up major school community events with the support of parent volunteers
Remember that when you show care to others and to the environment you live in, you inspire people around you to do the same, and this improves the quality of the place where you are living or where your children are studying.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved in some of the groups above, feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org