This is a recap on Hope Torch projects with Group 2 children (6th-8th standard) at the KKC tuition centre, from October to December 2017.
Group 2 kids are getting comfortable with various projects and are showing a lot of enthusiasm. They are very energetic and are not easily bored by the different tasks required to complete their projects.
Despite their enthusiasm, I could see that fights broke out very easily and these disagreements would last for weeks. Interest in projects like Word Frames, often got sidelined when two kids are feuding. Since these patterns of behaviour often result in absenteeism, my challenge was to provide effective conflict resolutions.
These challenges are different from the ones I faced the last term. For instance, while in conversation with one of the mothers, we realized that her child had missed several classes, and neither of us was aware of the problem. The parent was willing to address the issue and brought her daughter to the centre to resolve any issues. During this meeting, the child, with tears in her eyes, divulged that the reason for not attending was that her friend has stopped talking with her. I was able to facilitate a resolution and both the girls were happy to patch things up.
This and other such incidents encouraged me to include a series of self-worth games sessions at the beginning of class. Results are slow, but I have faith that I will eventually see improvement in the way they view and value themselves and others.
Despite these challenges, kids have shown a keen interest in their Hidden Treasure or Word Frames projects. They are learning to work well in groups and they celebrate their successes as they present their work to everyone.
I have, for the first time, started a new community awareness project on Alcoholism. My goal during the last term was to raise awareness among the parents of the children, their neighbours, and their visitors. The first step was to hand out Stop Alcohol posters to each child. The children were asked to stick the posters in their homes or to their front door, with the permission of their parents. The kids did a great job! The following week, I visited their homes and initiated good conversations with the parents on alcoholism. This has been a powerful and rewarding experience in all my years with Hope Torch.