A Colorful Collaboration to Build and Beautify

This past Saturday, June 2nd, ABC staff set out with paint buckets, rolling brushes, ladders and sketches in stow to work alongside 22 Goldman Sachs (GS) Community TeamWorks (CTW) participants and 36 migrant children. The participants joined together for a morning of friendly competition through team building and communication exercises. Friendships were made, trust was gained, and excitement quickly filled the air. One of the 5 teams was presented with the “Best All-Around Team” Award and two enthusiastic teams tied for 2nd place.

After eating lunch with the students, GS volunteers split into two teams to paint a migrant school classroom and two teacher offices. Their artistic expression and endurance were put to the test as the volunteers sweated their way through the afternoon. The results were transformative—not only were the walls glistening under the fresh coat of paint and shining from the hues of a colorful palette, but the precision of its application impressed ABC the most. As a result of ABC’s CONNECT program, kindergarten students and teachers from this migrant school can enjoy a more pleasant learning and work environment. 

Yale and Princeton Alumni Clean for a Cause

On May 19, 2012, the Yale Club of Beijing and Princeton Alumni Association of Beijing volunteers arrived at a migrant school to begin their Annual Day of Service. Both organizations chose to partner with ABC to help clean the school’s dining area. The event brought together 14 members from both organizations and 16 migrant youth to generate a teamwork mentality and fun-spirited atmosphere. With their affable personalities and youthful character, the volunteers quickly gained the trust of the students through several rounds of icebreakers. With energy in the air, the volunteers and students were then divided into four different teams, each assigned to clean a section of the dining area.

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Working alongside the older role models and leaders, the migrant students, ranging from 10-12 years old, quickly realized the true meaning of the word “team” that extended beyond the boundaries of their own group. Instead of simply cleaning their individual areas, the four teams ended up collaborating with other groups. The dining area was left sparkling clean for about 500 students and teachers, and most of the remaining supplies were donated to the school. Successfully bridging two worlds into one, ABC’s CONNECT program accomplished its goal to serve the underprivileged. 

Painting the Way to a Brighter Future

Out of breath from scaling five flights of stairs, the Goldman Sachs representatives quickly gathered their nametags and filed into what would be the competitive arena for the day. With 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room, this foster home proved to be a challenge for the 17 Community TeamWorks (CTW) participants, but as ABC’s founder Steve Hwang advised in his prep talk, this Corporate Social Responsibility project would test their “teamwork and problem solving skills.” The additional energy and enthusiasm displayed by 5 former ABC DREAM students further contributed to the productivity of the day.

Utilizing the limited time and resources they were given, one team especially demonstrated excellent teamwork skills and was awarded for their hard work. On May 19, 2012, the once barren walls transformed each of the rooms into warm and inviting spaces, soon to be the future home to many of ABC’s incoming class of DREAM program students.

Utilizing the limited time and resources they were given, one team especially demonstrated excellent teamwork skills and was awarded for their hard work. On May 19, 2012, the once barren walls transformed each of the rooms into warm and inviting spaces, soon to be the future home to many of ABC’s incoming class of DREAM program students.

A Day of Worthwhile Service

A cold and windy day didn't stop 23 employees from the Sinopec Engineering Corporation (SEI) from traveling to the outskirts of Beijing to participate in ABC's CONNECT program on Saturday, November 19th. Sporting matching t-shirts, SEI volunteers spent the entire day working alongside ABC volunteers and DREAM program students to directly impact 54 TALENT program students at one migrant school. This was the second of two CSR projects completed by SEI this year.  The day started with a friendly basketball tournament led by the volunteers. Amidst smiles, cheers and chants with shaking pom-poms, all of the students competed for awards in the following categories: Best Dribbler, Best Shooter, Most Valuable Player, and for 1st and 2nd place team prizes. SEI volunteers worked closely with the students to coach them towards victory in a series of games. The energy and excitement of the students and spectators filled the courts with each pass, dribble and shot made into the basketball hoops.

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Then, after lunching with students, SEI volunteers worked in teams with students in ABC’s TALENT and DREAM Programs to paint the walls of four large classrooms. Each team was encouraged to use their leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills to paint as efficiently as possible. Bare, white cracked walls were quickly transformed into colorful displays of artistic designs and fresh coats of paint. Together with ABC, SEI created an uplifting and inviting environment for learning, impacting approximately 160 students who study in these classrooms.

Volunteers CONNECT: Interschool Basketball Tournament

"Jiayou! Jiayou!..." (加油) The cheers of students standing on the sidelines rang through the gymnasium of Tsinghua Middle School during the culminating event of ABC’s fall TALENT basketball program: the interschool basketball tournament. On November 26, 2011, after eight weeks of instruction in basketball techniques, skills and drills, students from four migrant schools came together to engage in some friendly competition. This event brought together youth of varying backgrounds from across the city to cultivate a spirit of service, meaningful action, cooperation and collaboration.

Tsinghua Middle International School students and ex-pat Girl Scouts troops contributed to making the event a fulfilling one for all. The Girl Scouts played games with teams that were off the court. ABC DREAM program students kept game scores and coached teams to approach winning with grace and losing with positivity. Tsinghua students assisted in logistics and cheerleading, and hosted lunch where all participants had the opportunity to share a meal together. Each of the seven teams representing the schools played hard to exercise their teamwork and basketball skills through three rounds of fierce competition, but the “Eagles,” from Peng Ying School prevailed to claim the championship trophy. The winning school received books with audio voice recordings from the attending Girl Scouts troops who specially prepared these awards.

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One spectator observed how well students worked as a team and used good sportsmanship throughout the event. Also on the sidelines was Mr. Jerome Bacchson from the Lacoste Foundation who delivered encouraging remarks for the students in attendance, recognizing how each of the teams played with passion and enjoyed themselves during the tournament. 

-Thanks so much!

Multiple Intelligences Training for Migrant School Teachers

This past Saturday, 22 October, as part of our Teacher Training Program, ABC hosted in collaboration with Multiple Intelligences Institute (MII), the first of a series of training seminars on multiple intelligences theory and its implementation in the classroom. A total of 65 educators from 5 migrant schools in Beijing travelled on average 2-2.5 hours to attend the one-day event, which featured an enlightening and engaging two-hour keynote lecture from Professor Zhilong Shen, credited with introducing multiple intelligences theory in China. 

In his speech, Professor Shen gave a short historical overview of multiple intelligences theory and the 9 intelligences it espouses (naturalist, musical, logical-mathematical, existential, interpersonal, bodily-kinetic, linguistic, intrapersonal, spatial).  Here, he commented on how ABC programs are already incorporating the principles of multiple intelligences and bringing them into the schoolrooms.  Rising to his feet at one point, Professor Shen emphasized the importance of complementing traditional education with arts and/or sports – the need to develop all nine of a student’s potential intelligences in order to help them succeed in life.  Specifically, he cited the example of himself – it was his musical intelligence that helped him get into Peking University, not the logical-mathematical intelligence that traditional education shortsightedly focuses on. 

Below is a detailed list of the speakers, their lecture topics and bios.

Professor Zhilong Shen: “Multiple Intelligences Theory and Opening Students’ Potentials”

Special Consultant at MII, Chemistry professor, Arts educator.  Professor Shen graduated from Peking University in 1967. From 1984-1986, he was a Chinese government-sponsored chemistry scholar sent to Liverpool University. Upon returning, he became Head of the Chemistry Department of the School of Environmental Engineering at Beijing Technology and Business University.  In 1999, he translated and published Howard Gardner's  "Multiple Intelligences”, having a great impact on education reform in China.  Since 1994, he has also given more than 300 lectures, at universities in 24 provinces and abroad in the US, to a combined audience of more than 150 thousand listeners.

Since 2002, Professor Shen has published more than ten books including "Experiences at Harvard", "Music in Life", "Gardner, Talent, Multiple Intelligences”, “Rethinking Multiple Intelligences” and “Changing Perspectives”. 

Londi Carbajal: “Multiple Intelligences Theory and Practice”

Special Consultant at MII, Chief Education Officer at Ivy Group.  Londi grew up in Southern California and began her career there.  She has worked in early childhood education since 1968 and possesses a vast expanse of experience.  She came to Beijing in 2005, joining the cause of early childhood education in China. 

Kaitlin Cheng: “Classroom Management”

Kaitlin worked as an oral English teacher at New Oriental School Shanghai for a year. She later joined Elite Learning, a subsidiary company of New Oriental Group, serving as Director of Studies. Kaitlin received her B.A. in English Literature from Fudan University in Shanghai and M.A. in Marketing Communication from Emerson College in Boston.

Gatherings for a Good Cause

Sunday, October 16th was an eventful day for ABC. 

The afternoon was devoted to our  “A Silent Auction of Migrant Children Artwork” event held at Lanson Place Central Park Residences.  The event highlighted 21 pieces of artwork drawn and painted by migrant students participating in our TALENT Art Program which offers weekly art courses at four migrant schools throughout Beijing.  In addition, free on-site spa treatments were provided by Hummingbird Therapeutic Retreat. Vouchers to Hummingbird Therapeutic Retreat and the Fitness Club of Central Park were also given to winning bidders.

In the evening, ABC was selected as the charitable beneficiary of the October meal hosted by Beijing Foodies at Spice Factory.  Over 80 people attended the dinner featuring an array of mouth-watering dishes including Sonin Law Eggs, Duck and Lychee Salad, and Chicken Peanut Curry.  Jennifer Kim, our Associate Director, was on hand to provide a brief introduction about ABC.  

All proceeds from these two events will go towards continued improvement of our TALENT and DREAM Programs.  We thank everyone who made these two events such great successes for all their dedication and support.  A special thanks for Lanson Place, the British School of Beijing, the Hutong, Yew Chung International School of Beijing, Hummingbird Therapeutic Retreat, and the Fitness Center of Central Park for sponsoring our auction event. Additionally, we would like to thank Beijing Foodies for designating ABC as their charitable beneficiary.

New US Ambassador and famous Chinese author among guests at ABC fundraiser

The new US Ambassador to China and a famous Chinese children's author were among the guests at A Bridge for Children International's fundraising event in Beijing in September 2011.

Gary Locke and Zheng Yuanjie gave up time on a rainy Saturday during a holiday weekend to meet some of the migrant children and teenaged orphans we work with and donate materials and books.

US Ambassador Gary Locke (left) and children's author Zheng Yuanjie chat to 10-year-old Shou Tianjing, a pupil at a Beijing migrant school, about his artwork during an ABC fundraising event. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing)

US Ambassador Gary Locke (left) and children's author Zheng Yuanjie chat to 10-year-old Shou Tianjing, a pupil at a Beijing migrant school, about his artwork during an ABC fundraising event. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing)

Ambassador Locke's wife Mona Lee, who has done advocacy work in early-childhood learning, also attended with their three children and Mr Zheng's daughter. The youngsters all sat down with the migrant children for an art activity focusing on peace.

Ambassador Locke and his family and author Zheng Yuanjie (right) take part in an art activity with migrant children (sitting) in Beijing, September 2011. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing) 

Ambassador Locke and his family and author Zheng Yuanjie (right) take part in an art activity with migrant children (sitting) in Beijing, September 2011. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing) 

The ambassador, whose grandfather emigrated from China to the US and whose father was also born in China, arrived in the Chinese capital city a few weeks ago. He was the first Chinese-American Governor and first Chinese-American Commerce Secretary;  he is now the first Chinese-American US Ambassador. He spoke to the youngsters about perseverance and aiming high.

"If you work hard your dreams can come true. You do not have to be born into families with lots of money; many of the most successful and richest people are people who have come from nothing. Believe in yourself and you will succeed."

Ambassador Locke, who worked in his father's grocery store when he was in the state school system in Seattle, added: "You have come from difficult backgrounds, you have overcome difficulties and are now experiencing new challenges and new opportunities. We believe that with the help of A Bridge for Children (ABC) you are well on your way to success. Whatever you want to do, seek to be the best. Have big dreams."

Mr Zheng's books have been read by millions of Chinese people, both adults and children. He also spent a lot of time talking to youngsters at the ABC event.

The author, now in his 50s, dropped out of primary school after four years and joined the army aged 15. At the fundraiser he told a group of teenaged orphans, who live in an ABC foster home, about some of the challenges of his own background and explained that some teachers did not believe in him. He continued to write until finally he began to get published. "Don't give up," he said, jokingly adding that he had lost face ("Wo meiyou mianzi!") when some of the youngsters said they did not know who he was. One of them, 11-year-old migrant school pupil Fan Xiaoming, said she was really happy to be at the event, held at an art gallery in 798 District. She said it was great to "draw and chat and have photographs taken." She said she hoped that "in the future people in all countries can be happy together and not argue." Xiaoming's teacher Yan Cuiping said the children enjoyed the activity. "I hope this kind of event will allow them to express their talent." She added: "We should let them grow up so their eyes are open." 

Author Zheng Yuanjie (left) and US Ambassador Gary Locke pose with migrant children and their "Peace" artwork. Some of the art was later given to the US Embassy in Beijing. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing)

Author Zheng Yuanjie (left) and US Ambassador Gary Locke pose with migrant children and their "Peace" artwork. Some of the art was later given to the US Embassy in Beijing. (Courtesy of US Embassy, Beijing)

Jennifer Kim, ABC's Associate Director, said the event was a huge success in spite of the rain and holiday traffic. "The gallery filled up quickly with past and present volunteers and supporters, as well as those who had only learned of ABC for the first time," she said. "Whether it be high-profile supporters like Ambassador Locke and Mr Zheng or members of the public, all of us there had a certain thing in common --  the desire to help children who are less fortunate."

The fundraiser, called "Out of the Shadows – Bringing Migrant Children’s Artwork Into the Light,” also featured 50 pieces of art by the disadvantaged youngsters, displaying their courage, happiness, hopes and dreams. Some of the work was sold to guests in a silent auction.

The event took place at Tangart Gallery in Beijing's 798 District and was sponsored by Agenda Magazine. Guest speaker Frank Sun -- restaurateur, architect and philanthropist -- talked about the importance of volunteering and philanthropy.

All the money raised will go to our TALENT CAI (才) Program which runs art and sport programs for migrant children with the '4Cs' in mind -  Care, Courage, Confidence and Commitment.

ABC would like to thank all guests as well as cellist Song Zhao, Tangart Gallery,  Art of Wine and Mughal’s Restaurant. Many thanks as well to Kro’s Nest, Hummingbird Retreat Spa, Three Shadows Photography and Crepanini.



       离开北京的助学孩子之后,Sam又冲忙赶往机场去齐齐哈尔看望ABC另外几位孩子,Sam一直把这些孩子当成自己的孩子,看到他真挚的爱和行动,我们相信爱心无国界, 希望更多的人参与ABC。

Sam and Steve

Sam and Steve