The second semester of the 2012-2013 school year saw a successful pilot of CWEF’s REACH program at Shanyang Middle School on the outskirts of Shanghai.
REACH (Resiliency Education: Advocacy, Collaboration & Hope) is a student development program geared toward building up students’ resilience, leadership ability & life skills. REACH develops students and educators who understand the value of a broad education and who become confident leaders empowered to create harmonious community by cultivating communication and life skills, teamwork and participatory learning.
From February 21-23, 2013, two CWEF staff and one REACH teacher advocate provided training for three teachers at Shanyang Middle School. The training covered participatory teaching methods and the REACH curriculum. The REACH teacher advocate was chosen because of her experience and enthusiasm for facilitating the REACH program at her school in Guangdong province, as well as her psychology education and counseling experience. In addition to providing training, the CWEF staff members and REACH teacher advocate led a live demonstration class to provide practical understanding of how to facilitate REACH lessons. Since the initial training, the REACH teacher advocates at Shanyang middle school have facilitated two of the regular REACH lessons with their ‘learning circle’ of 30 students, all of whom are children of migrant workers, an underserved segment of the population in Shanghai. The dates and topics of these lessons were: March 29, 2013 – Self Image ; April 26, 2013 – Emotion Management.
Air Products, a large gas and chemicals company, has come alongside the CWEF team to provide financial and volunteer support for the REACH pilot program in Shanghai.* During the second semester, 27 volunteers from Air Products supported the REACH program with their planning and participation in two Air Products staff-led enrichment activities on April 11, 2013 and May 9, 2013. These activities have effectively developed and broadened the topics covered in the monthly REACH lessons, and provided support and encouragement for the Shanyang teachers and students participating in REACH.
Air Products and CWEF staff are now coordinating with Shanyang school to plan and prepare for a special summer camp to be held at the school in early July.
Some quotes from Shanyang middle school students about REACH:
- “The ‘treasure-seeking game’ helped me to learn that I should both trust my classmates and believe in myself.”
- “My favorite part of the class was the discussion after the game, because we can express our own ideas and feelings with each other.”
- “Now I understand the power of uniting together.”
- “We all need to help each other and trust each other.”
*United Way Worldwide grant on behalf of the generosity of Air Products Foundation.