A Look Back – 2012 Edition

Life Passions

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Organic Growth (After-School Program) - For the past 5 years, we have been operating an after-school learning centre to serve the community of Tsunami survivors in Takua Pa.  This year, we started to see the fruits of our labour as we witnessed tremendous organic growth.  We went from a small house with no more than 200 sqft of usable space to a 1600 sqft campus.  More kids also started to come; we went from 15-20 kids to more than 60 on our record day.  This is all simply from word of mouth and kids inviting their friends to come.  As more students came, we also were able to find more tutors who love kids to help out.  Believe it or not, we’re growing out of this current space.

This growth goes way beyond a quantitative assessment though, as we’re more interested in the qualitative progress of the kids’ academics and the relationships of trust and honesty being built with them.  We can see from report cards and assessments from parents that indeed our stable presence here in the community is having a positive effect on their academic, personal, and family life.  


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Big Brother - The thing that has been an absolute blessing is seeing a significant increase in pre-teen boys attending our after-school program.  We’ve gone from zero last year to over 10 that show up consistently.  Without a doubt the largest growing demographic with a close second going to kids 6 and under.  These guys have been a blessing on my life as I’ve been able to invest my time into their life; to let them know that there’s someone there to listen to them, help them out, correct them when they’re doing wrong, and ultimately be their big brother.  For a lot of these guys, a positive male role model for them is hard to come by if not completely non-existent.

  

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Desire to Learn - This year, I’ve dabbled in English Night Classes.  I’ve taught friends, police officers, and now kids.  Guess which demographic is the most dedicated?  Believe it or not, the kids.  Second goes to the cops but that might have been because they had an upcoming test.  This plays pretty strongly to my belief that all these kids need is a little push with a lot of support.  If you can provide that for them, they can go far.  As it stands now, I have 15 kids are studying English with me for an hour in the evening; remember, this is after they’ve been through a whole day of school and 2 hours at our learning centre.  I wasn’t this motivated when I was a kid.  

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Life of Fa - September 2012 marked the beginning of privately tutoring an 8 year old named Fa who’s never been registered for school.  When we started, she was not being able to recognize Thai letters, numbers, and definitely not the English alphabet.  Her progress after just 3 months has been nothing short of amazing.  She’s writing and reading the whole Thai alphabet.  She’s counting passed 20, recognizing the quantitative value of numbers and best of all she’s adding single digit numbers.  She is able to write the whole English alphabet, remember simple words, and her pronunciation is by far better than her peers.  Our goal is to pour into this little girl’s life, inspire her, support her, and get her back into school system with her peers.  

Originally posted to Life Passions