On 17th July 2015, Stepping Stones collaborated with Concordia University Irvine Campus to provide English classes to migrant children at a partner kindergarten. 12 PhD students majoring in education and 3 staff members participated, with the goal to learn more about volunteering, bring two communities together and learn more about English teaching.
The event started with a lecture from Stepping Stones Program Director Sebastien Carrier about the migrant situation in Shanghai, the Hukou system and how it led to the problems migrants have to face today. The lecture also covered Stepping Stones’ mission and current progress in improving their circumstances.
Right after the lecture, the participants had an opportunity to meet and talk to the principal of the kindergarten. In a short but inspiring interaction, the participants learnt about his own struggles as a migrant in Shanghai, his reasons for founding the kindergarten, its mission and day-to-day organisation. This story left the participants very touched and determined to contribute to the kindergarten as much as possible.
Even though the volunteers major in education and have some teaching experience, teaching kindergarten children who have no prior knowledge of English can be challenging. Given this understanding, Stepping Stones also trained the teachers for the classes. The training emphasized the importance of being patient and encouraging with the kids, rewarding their hard work and making lessons fun and interactive. With this knowledge, the volunteers were ready for the day!
In the afternoon, the volunteers taught English classes to groups of 16 kids. Who knew that teaching colours and body parts could be this fun? Lots of laughter and jumping around was involved – check out the video below!
The event was a great success. Stepping Stones would like to thank Concordia University for collaboration and hopes that there will be more of similar events in the future.