In addition to our weekly SWOT analyses, at the end of our last session we conducted a SWOT analysis with the teachers at 4PM to get feedback on how we could improve our sessions to benefit the students. Below are some of the things she mentioned.
The strengths of our service partnership are:
Variety of activities
Getting students from the drop off point
Student to children ratio is good for ideal involvement of both 4PM students and UWC students
Loud voices that grab the students’ attention
Supervision at all times
Helpful – when we go onto the bus and help with seatbelts or take them to the bathroom
Respectful and gentle
Further goals for our service partnership are:
Instead of doing just doing movement
Express themselves – speech and drama
eg. ‘If you’re happy, how would you express yourself?’
More art and craft
Switch on lights when projector
Recycling w/ peppa pig – use visuals and labels so the students have a reference
Zumba for kids – just dance
Weather (2 more weeks) – email us when units change so we can base our sessions around them
Minimise discussions with students to avoid distractions and restlessness
More presentation to the rest of the class – drama/speech based
Here is the link to our Service Learning Action Plan.
What we planned to do during our initial research and planning stages was to schedule out each session of our service so that we’d have an idea about the progress and activities we did with 4PM each week. We split up each week by having a different group of people organising the activities for that session and then we alternate.
Each session we have tried to slowly build the kids’ trust with us as well as their confidence. We initially planned activities so that we could get to know the kids and they could get used to being with us then we later transitioned to more activities based around building their confidence levels. We are continuing to plan our sessions around our goal which is to create a performance based on their topic of study, conservation, in order to increase their confidence and performance skills.
So far it has been a successful way to document our progress and keep record of what we have done. It’s also been helpful to us all because having all of the information on a central doc is convenient when planning for future sessions or reflecting on past ones.
After doing our initial research and investigation at school about 4PM, we had a general overview and idea about what 4PM does for the local Malay community in Singapore. During our first visit to the 4PM location, we further inquired into our investigation about the mission of 4PM. We learned that they are Malay youth literary association that strive to develop community through education. We also learned that:
They encourage the spirit of volunteerism which continue from generation to generation
Volunteering based on the needs of people that they are helping
They encourage sacrifice – dropping everything to help someone else in need
They want to inspire change in their community
They have multiple programs, including the kindergarten (who are going to be our main partners for this service). However, their main program targets Malaysian youth at risk in Singapore
They give a platform for youths to have a voice and support them when experiencing peer pressure, family pressures or financial issues
They identify kids whose grades are not as good as they could be because of the course that they are forced to be apart of, and create an alternative for students
They motivate them to continue to work hard in school (they focus on team building and fun activities to break the barrier between teacher and students)
Second Visit (26th Sept. 2018):
In our second visit we talked to the leaders of the 4PM kindergarten, Alfidah and Almira, to get some more relevant and specific information about the partners we are going to work with. We found that:
An average day for a student comprises of: 6 classes, 2 classes per college, assigned classroom, youth at risk (follow up and attract them back)
The center operates from 7am to 7pm
Children’s ages range from 2-6 years old (40 altogether)
75% comes from Low income, don’t have support from home
Majority are Malay students, speak Malay but they also speak English
K2 Class: 12, K1 Class: 12 (3 of which are girls), M2: 8, M1: 5, PG: 2
They strive to enhance: language skills, pronunciation and usage
The leaders wish to see the kids being more active, expressing themselves through speech and drama
Storytelling as part of drama: expose to different genres
As a service, we will be helping to achieve their goals of enhancing their confidence and performance skills
They want to ensure safety of the children by creating a comfortable environment for them to learn and grow
In our first meeting our initial plan of action was to investigate into the issue at hand and to familiarise ourselves with our group members. We were aware that the community we were organising for was low income families in Singapore. To effectively organise and raise questions for the group, we had to first acknowledge our particular skill sets. In a group of around four people, we listed out several qualities that defined us – for example skills such as being a critical thinker and caring – and activities that we enjoy doing so that we could integrate them into our activities with the kids of 4pm.
The next stage was to collate questions regarding low income families in Singapore. These were questions we wanted answered in order to better understand the community we were working with and how we could best adapt our activities and planning to meet their needs. These were questions that we were going to ask the 4pm group when we met them in the following week. For example, one question was, “what do the kids enjoy doing”. The answer to this question was critical in the ongoing planning and further investigation stages in order to adapt our activities to the kids and to make sure that they were enjoyable yet at the same time the most appropriate to what 4pm wanted to achieve from working with us. After this, we wrote down the four methods of investigation: observation, interviews, surveys, and media. From these methods of investigation, we placed our questions into their respective categories which then gave us a starting point on how we would proceed to get these questions answered.