In addition to getting an education, E@E wants to make sure that the students are healthy. Each time we visit the school, we show the students the importance of good hygeine and clean teeth.
Thanks to Redmond Kids Dentistry, Wendy was able to show the kids where they missed brushing with the use of disclosing tablets. Those are the chewable tablets that make a pinkish stains on plaque. There was a lot of brushing and spitting going during that lesson and the students really had fun with it!
For the last two years, we have been collecting very important data about the weather, temperature, and ice thickness in order to plan for the construction of a sustainable water system. It is important to do a detailed study so that we can prevent the pipes from freezing during the winter.
We’ve also met with a local water project expert, Ouyang, who will take the lead to make this water project a success. Ouyang has competed many water projects at high altitudes and we are grateful to be working with him. We will keep you posted about water project updates and other news from the school.
Our last newsletter covered the happy news that 56 students graduated from the school. On Oct. 9, Wendy Wong, E@E’s founder, travelled several days to the remote school to congratulate the students and to teach a few lessons. She also brought along a few special devices to show them.
Wendy purchased calculators and instructed the students how to use them for basic mathematics.
It was a big hit and the students enjoyed keying in numbers and seeing the results.
The keyboards were generously donated by Ouyang and his friends. Ouyang is a local water systems expert and is helping E@E create a sustainable water system for the village.
The students got a chance to familiarize themselves with the locations of numbers, letters and other commands on the keyboard. It is our hope to bring computers to the school someday.
Pinyin with Ouyang
Ouyang also gave a few of the students a lesson in Pinyin which is the system used to phonetically write Chinese by using English letters.
He was surprised that the students picked it up so quickly and was impressed with their Mandarin. The kids learned Mandarin from visiting teachers who were recent university graduates. The teachers stayed at the school for several months in 2012 and 2013.
E@E is so grateful to Ouyang and his friends for donating the keyboards. We are also very grateful to be working with Ouyang on our water project.
To see more photos of Wendy’s trip, please go to our website gallery.
Wendy Wong, founder of Education at Elevation, recently took a trip to the school to visit the students. She returned with many stories and exciting news. Since there is so much information to share, we’ve decided to divide up her report into three parts.
Part One The school’s location is remote and it took Wendy several days of travel just to get there. She flew from Seattle – 18 hours to China – and then drove three days by car, with the last five hours driving over rugged terrain and on treacherous mountain roads.
“It was a relief to finally arrive at the school safely and to see the smiling faces of the students,” said Wendy. It has been over three years since her last visit and she was there to congratulate the first graduating class, to teach lessons to the students, and to work with a local water expert.
Class of 2013 Great news! We are happy to report that 56 students, ages 12-25, have graduated. Out of the 56 students, 33 left to further their studies at free monasteries located in Kham, eight students went to study at Chang Tai Gompa (monastery), nine went home to their families, five students left to work in a factory in Shenzhen, and one went to study computers in Chengdu.
The graduation day was a very proud day for the students, teachers, and villagers. When the students first came to the school, they were illiterate. Now they can read and write Tibetan and Mandarin and they are also proficient in basic mathematics.
Sonam Rinpoche, the school’s founder and spiritual leader, also made the trip to congratulate the students and to give special blessings. The day was full of speeches from the village leaders and teachers and the students performed Tibetan dances. Everyone shared a great feast of yak, pork and vegetables served over rice.
While she was there, Wendy also had time to visit with the girls. She was happy to see familiar faces of the original group of girls that began school in 2010 when the classroom for girls opened. The girls impressed her with their beautiful handwriting skills. They wrote with a “pen” that was crafted from a shaved chopstick which they dipped into an ink well.
Wendy asked the graduates to fill out a questionnaire before they left the school. Many of the students said that they would like to come back to the school to help out and also told their younger classmates to study hard.
They were all very grateful for their education and thanked the donors. One student, Penjok, age 24, said, “Thank you very much to those who helped us. I will not forget your kindness for the rest of my life.”
To view the questionaires and to see more photos of the trip, go to our website gallery.
Sleeping mats During her visit, Wendy noticed the sad condition of the student’s bedding. E@E is raising money during our holiday drive to purchase new sleeping mats for the students, along with food, clothing and other school needs. We appreciate your support to help keep the kids warm and cozy this winter. You can make a donation on our website or purchase great items with our holiday fundraiser like, tote bags, oolong tea, scarves and delicous kharma cookies. The cookie deadline has been extended until Nov. 10th – hurray! Order online