Radiant Shema Boys was one of the new homes Hope Torch started working with this fall, as we already were associated with their girl’s home. Starting as a Program Administrator was a little difficult for me to begin with given that I had no previous experience working with children. But I took up the challenge!
During the quarter, most of the programs conducted showed a significant amount of improvement with time. For example, Word Frames that started out as on the left below, advanced to what’s seen on the right:
These were done by Thamigai who’d initially struggled to understand the concept but is now doing well, as can be seen from the pictures. He is also the first one to submit the Word Frames on time! Observing these small progresses really encouraged me to not give up on them, as a lot of patience, repetition and the ability to get down to their level in order to get things across is required. Even now the kids come up with excuses sometimes on why they haven’t completed their work on time. But with these changes, its only a matter of time before they can see how it can benefit them.
One of the programs that has been exciting for me to see is Mathletics. Some of boys lacked basic math skills like multiplications tables and hence they fear math and don’t have an interest in taking tests. But with this program, the kids are inspired to do math. I’ve noticed they only want to do Mathletics and nothing else. It’s interesting to also see that the younger kids are as smart as the older ones. Some boys however are finding it hard to pass the tests, although making good attempts. This is an ongoing challenge for me to tackle, along with continuing to help them see how important is to improve.
Hidden Treasures this quarter was a challenging process with the kids, with the chosen theme being “Steam is the Cheapest Form of Fuel”. The main difficulties the kids encountered were lack of team work, as some didn’t even participate, and no proper coordination, with one child doing it all. The project was delayed for many reasons, and the final event didn’t turn out as expected, which was disappointing. The kids were disappointed as well, and realized they could have done much better. In this coming quarter I hope to equip them with team building skills and help them understand the importance of communication so the next project would work out better.
Towards the end of the quarter the winning Word Frame kids were taken out for a treat to Mc Donalds. They were very excited and were building relationships with each other outside their homes, talking about school problems, videos they watched etc. During this quarter I realized that the children are smart, active, talented and willing to really succeed, but the hope is that they also learn to get along with each other, so that in the coming quarter they would accomplish the milestone set for them.