Morning Tears China (MTC) is an non-profit organization that aims at helping convict’s offspring psychologically and economically, who are often ostracized by society for their parents wrong-doings. MTC has afforded a home to 480 children and psychological care to over 720 children in need since 1998. For one of their programs this summer, MTC accompanied 16 children to Shanghai for a week of educational and cultural activities, hoping through which the students are able to build healing relationships among themselves.
On Tuesday, July 12th, Morning Tears China and children went in Stepping Stones’ office and planned to spend three hours with our staff and volunteers. Seeing their nervous manners, we broke the ice with the game “cross the river.” The silence in the room had then been replaced by giggles within a few minutes. During the game they offered each other suggestions and support; cooperation was the only way to win.
Fun is not the only thing Stepping Stones wanted to achieve that afternoon; English learning is never left out of the picture. The next few hours, students were divided into three groups and asked to go to different “stands.” A relating activity is added at the end of each lesson as well to make learning English enjoyable. Of course small groups reunited for a team-building exercise at the end -- the human knot. It needs us to hold the hands of the person across us in a circle and figure out how to untangle the “knot” without letting go our hands. As you can imagine, laughter and heated atmosphere were almost too exciting for the work place .
As the afternoon came to a close, the students had to gathered up their crafts and some stationary supplies as gifts from Stepping Stones. Along with several rounds of goodbyes. Children expressed their thoughts on the lessons. Some thought that the activities made learning English more fun than in the classroom, others said they wanted to come back again.
Finally, Morning Tears China and Stepping Stones think that the experience is surly a successful start to their summer camp. During the sendoff one of the MTC staff members leaned in and confided that she always wanted a teacher like us.
As you may be able to tell by just reading the article, children and volunteers all enjoyed the English classes very much. It seems minor, but a single English lesson does inspire lives.