Highlighting Feedback from WaterBridge Outreach Participant Butterfly School in Cambodia

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

waterbridgeOutreachSealFinalNew on our WaterBridge Outreach site (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach) feedback from Butterfly School in Popeae, near Udong, Cambodia. Butterfly School is a free English school in the village of Popeae, near Udong, Cambodia, set up by Canadian Heather Willson, of Kamakura, Japan. Free English classes are offered to the students who keep up with their schoolwork at the local Cambodian school. If you are interested in more information about the school please contact author Holly Thompson here.

Butterfly School has participated in our Outreach program for the past two years and and recently sent us their feedback  on the  2011  Book Set. All the feedback from Butterfly School can be read by clicking here  but here is a little preview:

First, the books are lovely, great illustrations, and moving but simple stories. The texts are short enough for butterfly schoolthe students to understand the narrative easily and the illustrations provided lots of visual information to enhance the stories. Having five copies of the same book made it very easy to use them in the classroom.

I only had time to work with one book, so I chose Rain School, as it seemed the easiest one to begin with. I just read the story first, having the students look at the illustrations and my actions. Next, we read the text together, repeating after me either individually or as a group. The next day, we tried the yes/no questions and the multiple choice questions. In the advanced classes, we also used the open ended questions. Students had fun asking various other students in the room, and seemed to enjoy being able to get the right answer. On the fourth day, we butterflyschool2used the sentence ordering exercise, which was a first for them. However, they caught on quickly, and really enjoyed the challenge.

The students were fascinated by the idea of building a new school every year, although most of them were glad they didn’t have to. They felt an affinity with the students in the book because their school reminded them of ours in Cambodia; the fact that it is a one-room school and rather crude and simple. They all said they liked the story very much.

New Feedback on our WaterBridge Outreach Site from Laguna BelAir School, Santa Rosa City, Philippines

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

New on our WaterBridge Outreach site (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach) feedback from Laguna BelAir School in Santa Rosa City, Philippines. Laguna BelAir School has participated in our Outreach program for the past two years and and recently sent us their feedback  on the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set which was comprised of the following three books:

Biblioburro, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2010);

A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope, written and illustrated by Michael Foreman (Walker Books/Candlewick Press, 2009);

Rain School, written and illustrated by James Rumford (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010).

Head Librarian Ms. Vin Del Rosario wrote:

I am pleased to inform you of our on-going library reading program using the PaperTigers books you have donated to our school. This reading program involves the students from 2nd grade to 6th grade.

I initiated the PaperTigers reading program to create an avenue to encourage our students to read the books in a fun way. It is also the library’s way of helping the English subject teachers to get feedback on the PaperTigers books.

This reading program is a class effort. It encourages class participation. The more these students read in a class, the faster they can reach their reading goal. Reading points were assigned to different PaperTigers books. Class advisers and Reading teachers encourage students to participate in the reading program.

The students visit the library to read the PaperTigers books during their snacks and lunch break. After reading a book, the student is given a “book completion form”, which is a small piece of paper with two or three questions about the book. Students earn points for each form they complete and are awarded a “mini book certificate”.

Originally, I had intended to run the reading program up to November 2012. However, due to the overwhelming responses of the students, we completed it by the end of September!

For our teachers, you will be pleased to know that our Academic Team Head has given the instruction that each one must choose a PaperTigers book for integration in their lessons within this school year.

To learn more about the WaterBridge Outreach program and to read feedback from the participants, click here.

Highlighting Feedback from 2011 WaterBridge Outreach Participant: Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library, Sri Lanka

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body program (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach)  seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, WBOutreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Today on the blog we are highlighting feedback from WBOutreach participant Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library located in the Dharma Chakkra Children’s Home in Weedagama, Sri Lanka. Established in 1998, the home provides housing and education for approximately 100 orphaned boys as well as for boys from unstable homes. In 2008 a second children’s home was opened exclusively for girls. Nia Murphy was instrumental in getting a 2011 Book Set to the Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation Library and  for providing us with this feedback:

The books were put in the children’s shared library. Dharma Chakkra has two hostels, one for the girls and then another, about 200 metres away and behind a wall, for the boys. The library is in the boys’ hostel. When I was last at the home the library was open in the evenings for the boys to use freely. Since then they’ve decided to shut it except at weekends when they have library time and English classes. I was told the books were used by the English teacher during these classes. However it was felt the books were a bit difficult for some of the children at the home, many of whom are still struggling with Sinhala, the local language. This is mostly true of the boys but the girls, who unfortunately have less access to the library, are at a higher standard. In hindsight I think a donation only for the girls’ hostel might have been a good idea. This was my mistake.

The overriding feedback was actually about the visuals: that the books showed children things they don’t normally see in ‘normal’ (read affordable) English or Sinhala books. Many of the books they have in the library are very old and extremely out of date. The affordable English books on the market in Sri Lanka are often things like The Radiant Way, which is a very dated old English sort of publication with smiling white children in high socks. Very simply, seeing children in picture books with brown skin is a rarity. So they were particularly excited about this, and the fact the children were seeing worlds not too dissimilar to their own but ones not normally presented in children’s books.

Click here to read the rest of Nia’s report.

Highlighting 2011 Book Set Feedback from Talisay School in the Philippines!

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

It’s been a busy month here at PaperTigers with our 10th Anniversary celebrations in full swing as well as receiving lots of feedback  from  schools involved in our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach). It’s always exciting to receive a package in the mail or open an email and see images of students involved with the Book Sets and to read their thoughts and comments on the books.

Today we are highlighting feedback from Talisay Elementary School. Talisay Elementary School is located in a barrio in Barangay Talisay in the Northern Mindanao Area of the Philippines. A significant number of students at this school have parents who are unemployed and the school’s mission is to provide “the best quality education to everyone who enters the gates.”  Talisay has participated in our Outreach program for the past two years and when reflecting on the 2011 Book Set, teacher Brenda Abao commented:

When my pupils saw the pictures in the books, they were so attracted with the color presentation. Some laughed at the illustrations. Most of them enjoyed best the story Biblioburro.

The books you sent me were a big help in my class especially during the “DEAR” (Drop Everything And Read) period. The students took turns reading since I had 29 pupils and there were only 15 books. They felt for the children in the countries mentioned in the stories but they couldn’t search for more about these countries since only a few of them have access to the internet.

After all of my pupils were able to read the 3 stories, I discussed each story with the whole class. One pupil commented that they were so lucky since their schools are not made of mud and that they do not need to build their school every year. That’s after we talked about the story Rain School.

To read all the feedback from Talisay School and to see more photos click here. To learn more about the 2012 Book Set, click here.

New 2011 Feedback from Mount View School in India!

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Mount View School, administered by Mr Hotoshe Sema, is a Nursery to Class 10 school located in rural Suruhuto, in Nagaland, India. This school has participated in our WaterBridge  Outreach: Books + Water project for the past two year and we recently received students’ and administrators’ reactions on the 2011 Book Set.  Here is a brief selection; click here to read all.

Selected students’ feedback:

P:  Rain School – This is the first time I have heard of students and teachers building a school and I admire they way they did it. The language is quite simple and easy to understand. The main character Thomas’s eagerness to learn and read and his aim to have a new school was very inspiring as he had many obstacles but succeeded in overcoming all these with great determination.

A: Biblioburro – Through this book I come to know that without education, even a rich man is nothing. This is a good lesson for me in life.

K: A Child’s Garden teaches us not to give up in anything, especially when it is for good.

Selected teachers’ feedback:

Mr. Mughaka:
Biblioburro - Pleasant and inspiring, with sweet, little pictures.
Rain School – Rumford’s Rain School is an encouraging story which will bring smiles to the readers and listeners. Appropriate for kids of any age.
A Child’s Garden – It is a heartening story. It reminds us that hope and determination, and even little things, can do wonders.

Mr. Abenito:
A Child’s Garden – An appreciable illustration about a never ending (undying) hope and concern for that which matures in a person’s mind and soul for a better living and freedom.
Biblioburro – An inspiring and well illustrated story that imparts the significance an individual can play through books.
Rain School – Rumford’s depictions emphasizing a teacher in inspiring and molding a child are quite amazing and interesting.

New Feedback On Our Outreach Site From Shanghai, China

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

New on our Outreach site….photos from Pingliang Road No. 3 Elementary School in Shanghai, China. This school has participated in our Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set project for the past two years. Their latest feedback consists of photos of students’ work based on books in the 2011 Book SetA Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope, written and illustrated by Michael Foreman; Rain School, written and illustrated by James Rumford; and Biblioburro, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter.

Here’s a sneak peek…..click here to see all the photos.

 


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New Spirit of PaperTigers feedback: Agape School, Kiphire, Nagaland, India

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Agape School has participated in our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach Program for the past two years and recently sent us their feedback (including some lovely photos!) on the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set which was comprised of the following three books:

A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope, written and illustrated by Michael Foreman (Walker Books/Candlewick Press, 2009)

Rain School, written and illustrated by James Rumford (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010)

 Biblioburro, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2010)

Agape School was established by Lipichem Sangtam, a former journalist who gave up his career to start his own school, and serves 180 primary students ages 4-11. In his 2011 feedback letter to us, Mr. Sangtam writes:

The students are doing well and have been greatly enriched by the story books that you have sent. The students composed illustrated stories in response to reading the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set. The beautiful pictures supporting the stories motivated them and they started small paintings with the few colours they have; and they started displaying in the school campus, which is encouraging. The students enjoy reading the books and the quality of the material, which is excellent.

English teacher Jevili Achumi comments:

The stories are filled with images and fanciful layers of illustration which attract the readers. The children were fascinated with the stories, the fanciful characters and the pictures which really take them to the roots. I also appreciate it if the illustrations and stories end up with a best moral.

Here is a sneak peek of the impressive artwork submitted to us. Do take the time to visit Agape School‘s page on our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach site to see more photos! Click here to be taken there.

New Spirit of PaperTigers feedback: Woodlands School, Montevideo, Uruguay

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Have you ever stopped to think in all the people that live in a poor country? Well, I was born in a poor country so I know in which conditions people in Chad live. I was born in a place called Cabo Verde, there are 10 islands and they live in poor conditions so I know how those children feel.

Today we read a book about children that live in Chad and it talks about how children in Chad go to school. A child called Thomas was going to his first day of school and he was very ANXIOUS, EXCITED and NERVOUS. When he arrived, there was no school. The teacher was standing there and said ‘Our first lesson is to build our school.‘

Find out more about this AWESOME and INTERESTING book and discover the ending.

I give 10 HUGE stars to this book and I would like to say ‘thank you PAPERTIGERS for giving us this FABULOUS BOOK!’

This wonderful review of Rain School by James Rumford, one of the 2011 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set, was written by 4th Grader Lucia F. from Woodlands School in Montevideo, Uruguay.

You can read the rest of the school’s Feedback on all three books here

Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach and feedback from Westwood School in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

 

The Spirit of PaperTigers (SPT) Outreach program seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, SPT outreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Since 2009, the PaperTigers Program has put books into the hands of young readers through schools and libraries, encouraging literacy, developing understanding and making reading a lifelong habit.  Taking this work a step further, SPT outreach is seeking to ensure that, in areas where there is water stress or water scarcity, the children to whom the books are sent will have access to clean water and good sanitation. The possibility of effective education in certain parts of the world is linked to the basic realities of food and water.  By focusing on books and water together – nourishing both the mind and body – SPT continues to promote literacy and encourage children to become “hungry readers.”   Thus our Outreach motto: “Through Books and Water, Education and Development.”

For more information please head on over to our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach page and be sure to read the latest feedback (and see photos!)  from Westwood Elementary School in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada!

 

Reading the World Challenge 2011 – Update 3

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Since my last update on this year’s PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge, we have added some great books to our list.

Together, we have read two new autobiographical picture books: Allen Say’s Drawing from Memory (Scholastic, 2011) and Ed Young’s The House Baba Built (Little, Brown and Company, 2011) – both wonderful, and I’m not going to say much more about them here as we will be featuring both of them more fully on PaperTigers soon. Those are our reading-together non-fiction books for the Challenge.

As our local book, we tried reading a book of folk tales from the North York Moors, where we live in the UK, but discovered the stories formed part of a tourist guide, including instructions for getting around… we extracted what we could but it wasn’t a very satisfactory read. It has made us not take beautifully illustrated and retold folk tales for granted!

Older Brother has read Rainbow World: Poems from Many Cultures edited by Bashabi Fraser and Debjani Chatterjee , and illustrated by Kelly Waldek (Hodder Children’s Books, 2003).  He dipped in and out of it through the summer break and we had to renew it from the library several times…

Older Brother has also been totally captivated by A Thousand Cranes: Origami Projects for Peace and Happiness. After reading the story of Sadako for the Reading Challenge way back in its first year, he’s wanted to know how to make the cranes but I have two left hands when it comes to origami – or at least I thought I did, until I received a review copy of A Thousand Cranes from Stone Bridge Press.  Recently revised and expanded from the original book by renowned origami expert Florence Temko, it’s a super little book, with good clear instructions for beginners like us, and giving background about both the offering of a thousand origami cranes as a symbol of longevity, and specifically the story of Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.  Older Brother, now that he is older, (more…)