“In Chaimen Middle School, there are towering poplar trees, starry nights, wild cats peeking at us, and kids who don't know who Jay Cho is but come to class every day at 6 AM. I wonder if Yaxue’s eyes have healed. I miss the public bath in the town that cost ￥7 RMB per visit, and even the flies that would never leave you alone. It is a place where dreams collide with the reality. Are you ready to be a volunteer teacher?” (From a volunteer teacher in 2014)
In July 2015, OCEF will launch the third summer camp for volunteer teachers. We are recruiting 30 volunteers to go to Huining County, Gansu Province, to read books, play games, share knowledge and experiences, explore the happiness through learning and growing together. For more details, please visit https://www.ocef.org/.
张新民老先生遗爱长存/A Great Legacy for Mr. Hsing-Ming Chang
In March, the Hsing-Ming Chang Charitable Foundation in northern California donated $30,000 to OCEF, all for the need-based scholarship program. Mr. Chang came from Taiwan but traced his roots to Funing County, Jiangsu Province. Over the decades, he paid close attention to his ancestral homeland, especially its educational system. He lived a very simple life but made large donations to help combat poverty, support education, and improve infrastructure in Funing, benefiting many students in need. Mr. Chang passed away in late 2013, but his legacy lives on. His family established the Hsing-Ming Chang Charitable Foundation to carry on his efforts in student aid. We greatly appreciated the trust that the Hsing-Ming Chang Charitable Foundation demonstrated in OCEF, and we carefully selected 85 high school students from Shanxi, Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Qinghai and Xinjiang to be supported by the program.
On March 8, the Northern California Chapter of OCEF hosted the Annual Appreciation Party in San Francisco to show our gratitude to donors, volunteers and all supporters. True to the Northern California Chapter's usual style, the party went on like a simple and happy family reunion. Over 100 donors, new and existing volunteers, and friends attended the party.
At the party, we reviewed the progress of OCEF's programs and projects in the past year as well as events organized by the Northern California Chapter and how the donation has been distributed. We also discussed the current conditions of rural education in China and the future prospects. Medals and awards were given to generous donors and devoted volunteers to show our appreciation. A special contribution award was presented to the authors of the digital book How Our Children Got into Top Colleges, who granted the copy right for the book to OCEF for charity sales that has so far generated well over $100,000 in revenue.
Also on display at the party were hundreds of photos and articles by our volunteers about their field visits to OCEF-sponsored students and schools. Together, they made an accurate presentation on the status quo, the aid programs by OCEF, and the changes these programs had made. Every heart was touched at the sight of the happy faces of the kids, their tremendous efforts in the challenging environment, the impact made by the donors and their generosity, and the progress brought about by the OCEF programs.
A special thank-you to our northern California volunteers for their hard work in preparation for the party, to TIPark Silicon Valley for providing the event venue, to Mr. Daniel Wu for sponsoring the event, and to Mr. Jia Haiyan and others for the beautiful photographs.
Wumiao Central Kindergarten in Wumiao Township, Jianyang, Sichuan, is a public facility affiliated with the nine-year Compulsory Educational System. It is located to the east of the Longquan Mountains and is about 40 kilometers from Chengdu, the provincial capital. The kindergarten was poorly equipped and had very limited resources. OCEF has administered a need-based aid program in Wumiao for over a decade, and many overseas volunteers have visited the kindergarten. In 2014, OCEF volunteers in Chicago made a special donation to the kindergarten for the acquisition of desks, benches, and both indoor and outdoor toys, which greatly improved services provided by the preschool.
In January 2015, when OCEF volunteers visited the kindergarten again, they discovered that as there were no beds available, the kids had to take their naps at the desks, which presented a significant potential for adverse effects on their health and development. In February, OCEF launched the nap bed project for Wumiao Central Kindergarten. Volunteers purchased 120 nap beds for the kids online and delivered them promptly. With that, the kids could finally take their naps in bed when they came back to school in March.
Because of the nap beds, enrollment at the kindergarten increased significantly for the first time in years, and the parents' satisfaction rate also went up. With the limited space in the classrooms, every day the teachers have to move the desks out and set up the nap beds and then, after the nap time, they have to reverse the arrangement. It is a lot of extra work, but the teachers are very happy. They say it is certainly worth the efforts as long as the kids are getting a good rest!
第18期（2015年4月）/No. 18 (April 2015) 组稿：杨敏 英译：何雪炀 编校：汤柏 Compiled by Catherine Yang Translated by He Xueyang Edited by Tang Bai