NEWS FROM SUNSHINE SCHOOL VIENTIANE CAMPUS
June - August, 2012
FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD PLACES !!!
This school year Sunshine School students merited a special distinction at an award ceremony for all the schools in our district - our Grade 5 graduating students achieved the first (Ms. Palitda), second (Ms. Pasuda) and third (Ms. Wanmanisouk) top scores for the whole district. Twenty-two other Sunshine School Grade 5 primary school graduating students were also awarded certificates for outstanding achievement. Two Sunshine School M4 middle school graduating students (Ms. Thipthida and Ms. Sunatda) were awarded certificates of outstanding achievement at a city-wide ceremony at the National Cultural Hall.
Palitda, Thipthida and Sunatda at the city-wide outstanding students awards ceremony at the National Cultural Hall.
SUPER SUMMER SCHOOL!!
June and July saw 100+ students from primary and middle school enjoying the diverse and fun-filled activities of our summer school - swimming, outings, cooking, dance, drama and projects.
The Lao subject teachers used their recently honed multi-media skills to involve the students in hands-on projects with themes such as transportation, planets, energy and environment.
The English projects were based on fun English/Lao stories -
Bob the monkey who invented sling shots to help people to fly high above the Bangkok traffic;
Saola, an endangered Lao 'unicorn'; a village boy who needed a TV, fan, fins and wings on board his buffalo; a greedy sleepy bear and a lost duckling.
The two middle school class' project was to find out about Australia; activities included making and baking clay and biscuit (cookie) boomerangs, learning 'Strine' (Australian English), and experimenting with aboriginal dot paintings on plyboard cut outs.
VISIT TO COPE, Khouvieng Road, Vientiane
The middle school students along with their teachers visited COPE Visitor Center, for their social awareness activity. COPE stands for Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. It provides services for people with disabilities especially children.
The students had an interactive tour with COPE staff and learned graphic details about the unexploded ordinance (UXO) problem in Lao PDR and COPE’s work in providing prosthetic limbs to the victims.
Visit to Xao Ban, Ban Sapangmoh
Another fun activity during summer was the visit to Xao Ban in Ban Sapangmoh, an atmospheric village near central Vientiane. Xao Ban is a small enterprise run by a group of women whose goals are to produce local food products and create employment opportunities for local people. Xao Ban is known throughout Vientiane for its natural and delightful and yogurt and other products such as homemade dairy products, processed fruits and vegetables. After the tour of the yogurt preparation facilities the students enjoyed a yummy finale!!
ECOLOGY OF JOY (EoJ) TRAINING
In a special one day seminar attended by 25 teachers and interested persons, our guest trainer, Dada Caetanyananda, introduced everyone to the main concepts of EoJ. The practice is for the child/adult to concentrate and feel the pure joy, love and beauty in his/her centre, identify with it and share it with all around. In this way the child/adult can also experience how to do 'magic' with the power of joy.
I love you. I share my love with you. Swirl oh Joy, let Love flow!!
For two weeks after the seminar Dada and Didi Jyoti helped our kindergarten teachers pick up practical aspects of the EoJ curriculum by sharing magical songs, role plays and stories to the delight of all the kids. Dada explained: ‘It is by the constant repetition of various spiritual comments, and short sessions of 10 second stories, 30 second role-plays, etc., spontaneously practiced any time of the day, that we can build a spiritual classroom.’
The teachers also tried to understand what is 'aesthetic purpose'. Dada explained, "(Aesthetic purpose) sets the mind towards goodness and a thought for others’ welfare. By training the child to think aesthetically the teacher nurtures the child’s innate quality. Children welcome kindness; they generally remain silent at the dryness of a technical lesson; they cheer at Beauty; they generally get confused at ugliness and so they laugh in their perplexity; they rejoice with Love while violence scares them."
I am Beauty inside me.
2. NEWS FROM DONKOI CAMPUS
“It was a friendly match,” declared the boys both from Sunshine School Vientiane and Veuntaen Campus. The football competition between the two campuses happened on July 23 at our own Donkoi football field. The match was conceptualized to establish solidarity between the students of the two campuses.
The girls of Mathayom level from both schools gave logistical and inspirational support and performed as first-aiders.
The Veuntaen team won the match, after which the Veuntaen team and supporters were treated to a night in Vientiane – eating out at the night market, going shopping in ITEC mall and their first visit to a bowling alley. The following day they were also treated to a morning of IT instruction in our Vientiane school.
A school library should be a warm and inviting place where children will want to come and actively participate. That is why, a Filipina volunteer, Bharati Arellano, added decorations to the school’s new library - a minimal underwater theme that has made the library more bright and cheery.
Krpa's eldest son, Micro, also was volunteering over the summer. He helped to research and teach the English projects and also he and Krpa finally finished our own kindergarten English workbooks ... a work that has been about 5 years in the making and has gone through many volunteers hands.
4. FARM DEVELOPMENT AND VEUNTAEN CAMPUS
The second year of our farm kindergarten started in August. One group of last year's students, who will be entering grade 1 at the local school in September, also came along to brush up on their Lao language and Math skills.
Didi Jyoti comments, "After having break in July, we restarted the kindergarten class with about 42 children including preschoolers. It was a very active period with various joyful moments. The teachers, Noi and Dorkmai, separated the group into two after the Morning Circle so the preschoolers could get more attention. They used puppet stories and introduced them to more writing and numbers."
Our classes for the village youth also started up again. Didi Jyoti has evening English classes two nights a week and during August the youth group continued their IT exploration with teacher Saba and volunteers Adam, from US/Pakistan, and Ako, from Japan, facilitating.
Phoutsavanh and Tong were busy over the summer taking care of the gardens, constructing huts and renovating the caretaker's house. To open the new term, Phoutsavanh organised a 'baci', Lao ceremony and invited most of the village elders to take part.
5. SUNSHINE FAMILY NEWS
Congratulations to Jagajan, the school office book keeper
and her husband Tii, our computer teacher, on the birth of
their first child, a son, Palinya (nick name Ter).