Xingzhi Migrant Art School is a non-profit organization that offers art lessons for the children of migrant workers who otherwise would not have this opportunity. This update was written by Director Gu, the founder of and a teacher at the Art School in Beijing.
With the support of TFish in 2013, the Xingzhi Migrant Art School opened courses for children of migrant families. This is the first time we cooperated with TFish Foundation and it’s also the first time we worked with people from outside of the school.
Our course aims to help the children of migrant families. The students’ number increased to 88 this semester. 65 students are in the junior class whose ages are from 6 to 12, 23 students are in senior class whose age are from 13 to 18. The lessons we offer to them are English and graphic design. The Senior class has about 364 hours for English and junior class has about 156 hours. 728 hours were set aside for the senior class in graphic design and 156 hours for the junior class.
English is not easy for the students, because they have almost no preexisting knowledge. They had to study the language from scratch. The other problem is their ages are varied a lot and their study capabilities are quite different. At the beginning, the teacher had to take care of the students who were slow, so the course developed slowly. Gu Xiaocheng, the founder of the school, discussed with the English teacher how to solve the problem. After discussion, their found a way to take care of the students who made slow progress. The quick learners help the younger students or relatively slow learners after class. Thanks to this plan, each student's English level improved 1 year later. They can now do a self introduction and perform basic communication.
The mutual-help study method was also implemented in painting. The capable students teach other students how to choose materials and help them learn new drawing techniques and relevant software.
Through the graphic course, we achieved something. One of the students actually found a job. Zhang Chengfu was employed by a package design company as a designer.
The Xingzhi Migrant Art School is not only a place that provides positive energy, but a place full of warmth. Each child is cared for and cultivated by Teacher Gu. Gu opened the class 7 years ago. He stays with the children everyday. He has professional artistic achievements, but he gave up an offer from a private school that would have provided excellent payment and conditions. Instead, he chose Xingzhi in order to focus on his students. He used most of his salary to buy painting materials. He has never asked for any tuition from any of the children. He thinks everyone is equal and should therefore receive education and cultivation. For 7 years, he has been adhering to the ethics of learning from practice and also applying what he has learned into practice.
After studying for one year, each student improved in many ways. The achievement is closely related to the help from TFish. TFish helped us to open some meaningful courses. At the beginning, we did not know how to issue blogs or pictures on the TFish website. We did not know how to fill out the forms, but Wang Jun and other staff from TFish gave us patient guidance. We learned more and made progress.
In 2014, Xingzhi Migrant Art School will be improved in 5 aspects. 1) More children from migrant families will receive better art education. 2) We will try our best to open more practical courses for the students in the coming year. 3) We will try to let the students to practice more and create more work. 4) We will start an animation class. 5) Help the students to learn how to make a living.
Finally, we want to thank TFish for all the support they provided. We hope we will have better cooperation in 2014. We will try our best to do things better.
Original article written by Xiaochen Gu, translated by Maggie Li, Edited by Yanyan Zhang
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