The Classroom Project
Fact: Special Education is not easily available in China.
Fact: Orphanages in China are filled with children with special needs who in many cases will be unable to attend public school.
The mission of our Believe in Me orphanage schools is to bring the joy of learning to children who otherwise would not have the chance to receive an education. For twelve years now, these Montessori-inspired schools have served special needs children, inspiring them to dream and giving them encouragement to learn and be accepted.
Orphanages throughout China have heard about our Believe in Me schools and want to provide these educational opportunities to the children in their care. In fact, we have heard from so many orphanages that we’ve had to start a waiting list! It takes a lot of time, planning and funding (well, mostly funding) to set up a school and to ensure our minimum three-year-commitment will be met.
If it were possible, we would open a Believe in Me school in every orphanage because we believe that all children deserve the chance to learn. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found the proverbial ‘money tree,” so we have asked ourselves, “How can we bring education to more children with the funds we have?”
The answer: help orphanages set up classrooms with equipment and supplies, provide Montessori training for the teachers, and then let the orphanage run the school on their own. We presented this idea to the first two orphanages on our waiting list, and both were so happy to have this opportunity!
Teachers at both the Pingliang orphanage in Gansu and the Fuyang orphanage in Anhui have now received their training, and the classrooms are now well supplied and set up. We will continue to send the teachers our monthly Teacher Newsletter to help them with curriculum ideas and activities as well as information and suggestions for dealing with different student needs. In addition, we will be doing additional teacher training with them this summer, as our US-based special education experts travel to China in June.
We are so thankful for this opportunity to bring education to more children and for the orphanages who are so committed to doing the best they can for their kids. The children are excited about their new classrooms and are more than ready to learn!
As we receive more funding for The Classroom Project, we will work our way through our waiting list. It is our dream to be able to offer this brighter future to even more children.
It is wonderful to know that with a $4,000 investment by LWB for training and classroom supplies, coupled with ongoing funding provided by the Chinese government, many more children will get to experience the joy of going to school each day.