Recently, a new service club led by a freshman was introduced to the KIS high school service program. Although the club was created 2 years ago, it officially became part of the high school service program this year. The club has meetings every Tuesday and goes to the orphanage once a month. During their service hours, they teach English to preschoolers and early elementary students. The orphanage was created for children who lost their parents after the Korean War and has been operating for 60 years, taking care of 3,500 kids in total.
The club started about 2 years ago when Stanley Yang (‘21) began service drives supported by the middle school Student Council. As Mr.Kennedy, the service coordinator, wanted to continue that service, he connected Stanley to Jenny Shin (‘19) and other members who wanted to join the service. The service club recently became a high school service club with about 15-17 members (mostly freshman, middle school).
The group always met on Tuesdays during lunch in order to plan out their service. They mostly discussed the materials and the lesson agenda of the service day. They mainly focus on teaching the kids the ABC’s and basic English with various materials and methods such as matching cards, coloring letters, or counting objects. When looking at the lesson plan, they planned out the basic activities and presented the materials that they were going to use for service. Although going to the orphanage is only once a month, they still were able to teach efficiently.
On the service day-which is every 2nd Saturday, everyone had to gather around the school about 12:00 and ride the school bus to there. During the ride, they were reviewing their lesson plans were readying themselves to sing the song, ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’. Surprisingly, when they arrived, many of the kids were inside the house, preparing themselves for their lesson. Immediately, the group gathered their materials and started their lesson with each kid assigned to one of the members.
Most of the time, the children were coloring in basic English letters that Stanley had prepared. During the lesson, they ran through several different activities that focused on the ABC’s such as coloring/matching the letters, flash cards, and writing it. Most of the kids were very focused and concentrated with their assigned tutor, hence they were able to finish at least one of the activities. After about 40 minutes of their activities, they were given milk, Oreos, and gummy bears to freshen up while finishing up their activities. As their age varied from 7-9 (Korean age), some were able to finish the activities very quickly while some were struggling. Despite the differences, they were still able to improve their English and interact a bit more with them.
Interview with Stanley Yang, leader of the club:
What made you start this club?
From middle school, I started this club called ‘volunteering drive’ where it was hosted by Mr.Corey in 7th-grade leadership class. After my friend and I found this orphanage, we made posters and videos to present what we did there in the one day service. As Mr.Kennedy was interested to expand our program, I started to communicate with the teachers and reached a decision where we would create a club for the orphanage. Now, we have 17 members
What are some improvements that you can aim for in this club?
So, basically, we are right now teaching the basis of English to these kids (about Kindergarten) such as ABC. We want to do more effective outside activities other than indoor activities. Also, we want to incorporate special holidays into the lesson or go to special places such as aquarium or other field trips to entertain the kids more.
What’s the ultimate goal of this club?
Our purpose is to raise awareness that there are people in the world yearning for love. Probably, there are other orphanage clubs like Suji Boys town or Geumsae, wants to raise the awareness of this matter. Not only high school but middle school and elementary can understand this issue as well.
What are some personal things that you learned or felt?
I will be honest with you, I established this program just for my own benefits like college applications. Throughout several services, I learned that helping people play a big significant role in the society. There will be more people in desperate situations that need our help, and right now, this is what I strive to do in order to at least participate and help out the society.
How are you going to expand this club?
Currently, our service club is the only club that incorporates middle school and high school. So maybe, rather than weekly meetings, we want to try to go to the orphanage about 3-4 times a month. Also, we want to let other clubs or teachers work with us in service time. Furthermore, Charles Park (‘20) wanted to bring his music team to teach the kids about music or how to play the recorder.
– Mark Park (’20)