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  • Monday, October 23, 2006

    Jintang Hong Kong YMCA School

    On my third full-day in Chengdu, Sunday, October 8th, the YMCA General Secretary, Isabella Hua, took me to the Jintang Hong Kong YMCA School which is about one hour from my apartment in Chengdu. The school was open on Sunday because the Golden Week holiday followng National Day (October 1) had ended on Saturday.

    This rural village school in Jintang County, northeast of Chengdu, was rebuilt with a generous donation of 1.19 million HK dollars [US$152,922] from the Hong Kong YMCA and renamed to express the local people's gratitude. On the initiative of local authorities, the school was transferred and entrusted to the Chengdu YMCA. A new school board was organized by the Chengdu YMCA to take charge of the administration, finance, teaching and other relevant matters. Last year for the first time in Jintang County, there were volunteer native English speakers from the North American Fellowship of YMCA Retirees [NAFYR] to teach English to first and second graders and a Hong Kong YMCA volunteer to organize and run the school's physical education program.

    The YMCA has one person to oversee the school's operation; the headmaster and teachers are paid by the government. The school has 428 students and 28 teachers. Among the students are the 16 orphans from the YMCA Yellow House Orphanage which is also in Jintang.

    The visit gave me a chance to meet the Headmaster and the two teachers with whom I will be working. Ye Yù (Suzanne), Headmaster of Jintag School, is second from right in the above photograph; Yáo Hǒng Méi, the first grade English teacher is on the far right; and Tǒng Mǐng (Eva), the third grade teacher is on the far left. On Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning, I will work with Hǒng Méi in the two first grade classes and in the afternoon I will work with Mǐng in the two third grade classes. Each class is 40 minutes. On my visit I was able to secure copies of the workbooks used by the students, the teachers' guides and cassette tapes for each grade level.

    On the following Tuesday, I returned and observed all of the classes in action. On Thursday of my first week I assisted the teachers. During my second week, on Tuesday, Mǐng had to be away from the school for the afternoon and I taught her two classes by myself - with the Headmaster and another teacher sitting in on the first class.

    On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wei Yuan (Bob) [the YMCA driver] picks me up at my apartment at 8:40 AM for the one hour drive to Jintang. I get back to my apartment about 4:30 PM.


    At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love the way you are doing your blog. I feel like I am right there with you. Also working the photos in to clarify the stories is so clever. It is professional. Also the teachers you work with are so pleasing to the eye and they get younger every day. Keep up the good work. Your camera takes very good photos.. You won't hear from me for awhile as I get my neck surgery tomorrow. Peg


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