Grass Book House was reconstructed from a stir fries restaurant by Sanxia Creek. The two-story space is divided into areas for a cafeteria, classrooms, gaming and reading. The small space carries children’s dreams and their expectations for the future.
Through the learning and accompanying at Grass Book House, we hope that Grass children can possess six major capabilities, i.e. optimism and passion, responsibility and self-discipline, problem solving, social wisdom, courage to try, and thankfulness and empathy.
Where do the students come from?
The students are referrals from the counseling offices of local elementary schools in Sanxia. They are high-risk children recommended by counseling or homeroom teachers. We offer them homework guidance after school, shared meals and diversified course learning.
The importance of afterschool care
The family caregivers of children in high-risk families may not be voluntarily or involuntarily able to take good care of them. As these children lack care, their learning conditions are unstable or they have insufficient stimulation for diversified development.
We hope that, through afterschool accompanying, these children can have more fair opportunities in receiving education, open their vision, and be more capable for grasping choices for their future.
Complete the life missions of the current stage and stand firm
The Book House accompanies elementary school children afters chool, help them with homework, and cultivate their responsibility. We provide dinner on weekdays and breakfast and lunch during summer vacation, and we eat with them to make sure they ingest enough nutrients. The children clean the Book House and learn how to keep things tidy by themselves as we accompany them steadily and watch them grow up step by step.
Offer diversified stimuli, listen to their feelings
The Book House has arranged diversified courses for the development of the children’s interests and talents, such as aesthetics, Beiguan, guitar, ukulele, fitness, swimming, etc. We also allow children to have space for elaborating their thinking outside the classrooms through artwork, singing or participation in activities. After experiencing, we let them speak of their feelings and thoughts, while we listen to them as they share and cheer for their growth.
We accompany the children in facing learning problems and completing schoolwork at their own pace. In order to enhance the “children’s leaning motive”, the teachers put an effort into making academic knowledge lively and close to life so that the children can like to learn.
Frustration endurance starts from problem solving
Math is important for cultivating skills of logic analysis and procedural thinking. In order to settle the condition of mixed ages and difference in levels, the math teaching with a uniform educational platform is introduced to enable each child to start from the foundation of their capability and walk forward steadily one step at a time. Through the problem solving processes, they find the formula for solving each math problem and, when they have the wrong answer, they would smile and keep going. This is also the attitude to solving many problems in life.
Peer support and theme-based courses
We integrate knowledge and life into theme-based courses for the children to experience and learn in scenarios close to life, as well as accomplish course goals in groups for them to increase their social wisdom.
Make friends with music
The music class at the Book House is divided into traditional and western instruments. The former combines the traditional music club culture of Sanxia, and professional Beiguan and classic Chinese music teachers are hired; group training is carried out every week to achieve the goal of performing for local festivals in the future. The latter includes ukulele, guitar and drum kit, and children can select one according to their interest. The process of learning an instrument can cultivate the children’s patience and persistent attitude, while performing in public enables them to find achievement and happiness in learning.
Physical Education Class
PE class cultivates not only physical strength but also mental strength. Although traveling around the island and basketball are group activities, an individual must communicate with oneself most of the times and accept themselves as they are in every way. After each challenge ends, the children will take the nutrient of PE class with them and face more difficult challenges with more confidence in the future.
Theme-based operation learning
Starting from the culinary class, the Grass children began to take interest in cooking, so the teachers started to think about how to broaden the culinary courses.
The children said one day, “Let’s open a restaurant!” So Grass Restaurant was opened. The children started to learn in phases: planning of dishes, operation of kitchen and dining areas, customer entertainment, etc. After actual operation, the Grass children discovered that they had missed a lot of angles, such as the number of customers exceeded their expectations, the food serving process was not as smooth as they had hoped, etc. With these challenges as stimuli, the Grass children improved their capabilities to improvise, communicate clearly and tolerate frustrations.
Cultivation of non-cognitive abilities and emotion guidance
Children born under adverse circumstances often have to face the reality of society earlier, and they have to develop non-cognitive abilities, such as perseverance, self-awareness and self-control, to help them face the different issues in life so they can solve problems, adjust pressure and deal with emotions.
The abilities the children require are integrated into daily accompanying and courses. Receiving their emotions and accompanying them in finding their own way of problem solving are the nutrients we expect to bring for the children.
Accompanying enables Grass children to grow into all kinds of beautiful flowers
Emotions can generate positive improvement or negative destruction. Appropriate relief and guidance are easily said than done. As each child develop, they need a listener who is someone they can share the happiness, frustration and expectation brought by the things in their daily lives with, and someone who can give them support or discuss matters with them.
The Book House hopes it can become a second home to the children, and the teachers can be like their family members who listen to them, accompany them in getting to know themselves, and offer them care, encouragement and affirmation. The growth and change of children require a long process, and through long-term accompanying, we let the children’s inner selves to possess their own power for them to head forward more bravely and steadily toward the long journey ahead.