Hannah's Experience - Part 2
In Part 2 of Hannah's posts, she shares with us her work with Aye Mya, a Mae Sot local who has worked with us designing learning material and exercises for Starflower School.
While Star Flower is a really great place - a godsend for many families, I quickly realised that there weren’t enough places and that their admission criteria could be quite exclusive for some of the families we work with. They only accept children 5-14 years and if you cannot sit by yourself, a parent needs to come with you to school. For a number of reasons, this isn’t always practical. We keep meeting new families all the time and the reality is that many of their children will never be able to access Star Flower or any other school. But so many of the children are bright and hungry for learning! There is also a lot of work to do before 5 years of age! So, while we aren’t teachers, we decided ‘if you can’t go to school, let’s bring some school to you’. We are going there for physiotherapy, so why not also do some learning at the same time? It’s the perfect opportunity to model certain skills to parents and other community members.
Aye Mya used to be Irene’s translator a few years back. She asked if she could come help us with anything in March to June because she had some spare time before starting her GED programme. Aye Mya is an amazing artist, creative, excellent on a computer, and can take a little guidance and run with it! We used all her skills and energy to our full advantage and she helped us develop 4 packets that have story books and learning materials for preschool concepts – e.g. days of the week, colours, counting, same/different, parts of the face. We now have these ready to take with us on home visits and will continue to design and develop new packets as we have time. She also helped us make games that could be used during ‘exercise/gross motor/PE’ time at Star Flower. They were a big hit and I hope the teachers continue to use them . Working with Aye Mya was refreshing and we felt really good about what we accomplished in a short time together – so thank you!!
And here’s a shot of the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ packet in action! It focuses on fruits and vegetables, days of the week and bilateral hand skills. Hnin Wu Yee shows us that you don’t actually need 2 hands to cut an eggplant (I did hold my breath until she was finished with the cleaver!!). She is fiercely independent, 18, and never had a chance to go to school.