REACH: Equipping Teachers in China

From July 23-26, the annual REACH Teacher Training was held in Guangzhou, China. REACH (Resiliency Education: Advocacy, Collaboration & Hope) is a program that builds resiliency skills in at-risk high school students, many whom are recipients of CWEF scholarships. Resiliency is defined as the ability to maintain personal competency despite encountering adverse situations, misfortune, or stressful events.

The program revolves around a core of local teachers who volunteer their time to serve as REACH advocates, helping to build resiliency skills with the at-risk students at their schools through monthly activities using the REACH curriculum. This school year over 300 students from eight schools will participate in REACH with the help of over thirty local teachers in China’s Guangdong and Yunnan Provinces.

The four-day training session was focused on providing a theoretical baseline and many practical skills to approximately 15 new teacher advocates. A consultant from Hong Kong, experienced REACH teacher advocates, and CWEF staff led the training. The REACH curriculum uses participatory teaching methods to encourage students’ communication, leadership and teamwork skills. These methods are quite new to many classroom teachers in China, so the annual training session is crucial in forming a peer network among the advocates and for building their confidence in using these new teaching methods.

The goal of the REACH curriculum is to help students develop skills in five areas: self-awareness, social awareness, self- management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Research has shown that competencies in these areas help students to be more successful in school and in life.

Many thanks to our individual donors and to LIMM (Lutherans in Medical Missions) for their grant of US$5,000 that made this training possible!

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