Sponsored a delegation of five Chinese teachers to attend a one-day workshop in Vancouver organized by the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of British Columbia. Following the workshop, the Foundation assisted the teachers to spend a day observing and later debriefing with teachers from the Simon Fraser University Child Care Society Centres. These child care centres utilize a Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy, which views children as possessing a natural drive to learn about their world. Each centre is equipped with both indoor and outdoor spaces, which children utilize at will. Teachers both supervise and follow the children’s interests to promote their learning. By arranging these activities for the Chinese teachers, the Foundation helped to promote the understanding within China of advanced Canadian research and practices in early childhood education.
Cosponsored with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. a one-day conference for immigrant families of children with special needs, to help them understand how to access services for their children. The conference took place in Coquitlam, BC. Read More..
On May 24, 2014, 70 families from five different immigrant communities in the tri-cities area participated in an all-day conference labeled “Helping Your Child to Succeed: Strategies to Strengthen the Social-Emotional Development of Your Child.” The conference was held at the Douglas College Coquitlam campus, and designed to ensure that immigrant caregivers whose children have special needs or disabilities would be able to access needed and available services for their children.
While volunteers supervised the children playing and participating in crafts and other learning activities, the parents and grandparents listened to several prominent local speakers—including Dr. Amrit Dharwhal, Ph.D. and registered Psychologist from the University of British Columbia, and Deb Smith, M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Douglas College-- discussing children’s normal social-emotional development, how to address challenges and strengthen their child’s social-emotional development, what can go wrong, and where to get help for children who may have issues of mental illness, autism, attention deficit disorder, or other common conditions.
This conference grew out of the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation of Canada’s recognition of a common problem facing some children in Canada. Canadian law and values recognize the right of all children, regardless of disability or special needs, to receive educational and other supports which allow their full social participation. British Columbia, like other Canadian provinces, has made great strides in providing resources to ensure the diagnosis, education, and social inclusion of children with all kinds of disabilities. However, many immigrant families are not aware of these services, or, because of the associated stigma in their home cultures, are reluctant to access them. The conference was designed to reach out to those immigrant families, to help reduce the stigma associated with acknowledging their children’s conditions and needs, and to encourage families to access available services for their children who need them. To better reach the immigrant families, the Foundation partnered with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. in the organization of the conference and recruitment of the families from various immigrant communities.
63 mothers or grandmothers, 36 fathers or grandfathers, and 78 children attended the conference. The many non-English speaking families spoke Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Farsi, or Nepalese, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. staff translated the entire day’s proceedings into all 5 of these languages. Families sat in their language groupings with a translator, so that translation into the different languages could proceed simultaneously, allowing more time for learning and questions.
On the feedback forms received from participants, all 53 respondents agreed that they had gained a better understanding about the social-emotional development of children. Typical comments included that the caregiver now knows where they can access help for their child, and a request for more events of this type. Because of the vision and support provided by the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation of Canada, children with special needs in at least some immigrant families are now more likely to receive the help they require to participate fully in school and in Canadian society.
Co-sponsored and hosted the 2011 Educating the Heart, Body & Mind: A Cross Cultural Early Childhood Education Symposium in Richmond Canada. Speakers from Canada and China presented to 75 early childhood educators on a variety of topics ranging from the latest findings in brain research to effective ways to teach young children math.
Co-sponsored and sent a delegation of 7 (including 5 Board members, all of whom paid their own way) to the 2009 Early Childhood Education Symposium on “Creativity Education,” to be held in Shanghai. Two of the Board members presented papers at the conference.
Co-sponsored and hosted the 2007 Early Childhood Education Symposium on “The Whole Child,” in Richmond, BC. Delegates from China and Canada presented papers to an audience of approximately fifty early childhood educators.
Financed the making and distribution to educational institutions in China and Canada of VCDs of a series of lectures on Chinese lyrical poetry given by Professor Yeh Chia-ying, a renowned expert in the field.
Co-sponsored the 2005 International Symposium on Early Childhood Education in Multicultural Background, held in Shanghai, and sent a delegation of eight, three of whom did presentations at the Symposium.
Participated in the First Worldwide Soong Ching Ling Foundation Chairman’s Forum, held near Shanghai.
Co-sponsored a cross-cultural Early Childhood Education Symposium in Vancouver Canada with Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation.
Hosted an International Symposium in Vancouver, the focus of which was environmental awareness in children.
Fostered a Collaborative Project between Shanghai SCL Kindergarten and the University of British Columbia Child Study Centre.
Assisted in the establishment of the SCL International Kindergarten in Shanghai. Introduced both Montessori and Early Childhood Education Methods to the school.
Produced a documentary --- "The Children of Soong Ching Ling"--- depicting the life of children in China. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary by the Motion Picture Academy in Los Angeles, USA.