Mr. Robert Yet-Sen Chen was born at the beginning of China's new Republic, survived the civil wars and the Sino-Japanese War, lived on four continents, and established a thriving international business enterprise. Through it all he never forgot his roots, his boyhood years in rural China. He dedicated much time, energy and financial contributions in the later part of his life to helping the less fortunate in his home village in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, China.
Mr. Chen was born in 1929. At the age of 14, he left his hometown to study in Shanghai. In 1948, he left China for Hong Kong and eventually went on to attend university in England. In 1957, Mr. Chen returned to work in the family business in Hong Kong. He established the company's presence in West Africa by setting up factories in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Like many of his generation, Mr. Chen experienced personal loss, war and hunger in his youth which was to prepare him for the rigors and challenges of doing business in uncharted territories. His positive outlook on life and his uncanny ability to see to the core of issues, coupled with his unfailing diligence, contributed to the ultimate success of his personal and professional endeavors. His diligence and sound financial investment strategies paid dividends for the family business.
The elder, Mr. Chen Zao Men, taught his son about the importance of philanthropy - of giving - from an early age. The Chen Zao Men College in Hong Kong was the first charitable project supported by the Chen Family in 1972, and the genesis of a tradition of community service. Mr. Robert Chen built on this legacy of good works by building and supporting six schools, a community hospital, and undertaking much-needed public works in the family's hometown of Qidong. His lifetime of philanthropic work culminated with the creation of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation in October 2003, prior to his unexpected and premature passing on November 29, 2003.
Mr. Robert Chen was a successful businessman, a caring family man, a generous benefactor and a respected citizen. Compassionate and generous, he cared deeply about educating the younger generations in whom he saw unfulfilled potential to excel. His spirit lives on in the Foundation that bears his name.
Established in 2003, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation is a hybrid charitable institution with a strategic focus on improving early childhood literacy, through the development of libraries and reading programs. The Foundation also supports experiential out-of-classroom programs which aim to improve personal development of children.
The Foundation is a grant-making institution that supports organizations for innovative, cost effective and high impact programs in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Ghana.
To nurture the potential of the next generation by building, supporting & sustaining innovative approaches that enhance learning & personal development.
The Advisory Committee, consisting of 7 members, meets twice in a year, normally in May and November, to approve grant applications and to review the Foundation policies.
It is with great pleasure that we bring you the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation’s 12th annual report.
2015 was a landmark year. The Foundation received three outstanding recognitions which we are particularly proud of.
The Kumquat Awards named us fifth in the foreign donor category as voted by grassroots China-based NGOs – a minor improvement from seventh place in 2013. Receiving this award again helps to reaffirm that our vision for change, the belief that has spurred us on all these years, is still valid. There is still so much more that we want to accomplish and we will get there a step at a time!
The next two Awards were given to the Hefei Wanghu Primary School, one of the founding member schools of the Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance (SSHRA). The school received the “Best School Library Award” and the “Best Grassroots Library Award”, both organized by Library Society of China.
Hefei Wanghu Primary School’s recognition is all the more remarkable as the Foundation did not make any monetary contributions to the construction of the library or the purchase of books. It was purely the knowledge know-how we have been sharing with the SSHRA that led them to create this award-winning library. And of course, the foresight and hard work of Wanghu’s Principal Hu Dong Mei and their teacher librarians Zhao Min and Li Ling must also be commended. Congratulations to them all!
Since the Awards announcement, we were delighted by the enthusiastic response from schools outside Hefei. SSHRA member schools have received many visit requests and several schools in the area expressed interest in joining the Alliance. In light of this, the Foundation plans to elevate the SSHRA to showcase and share our beliefs and experiences with peers, strengthening our position as the “go-to” resource for reading and library in China via online resource.
With the invaluable support from the Baohe Education Bureau, Director Madam Chen Xue Mei and our staff, the Hefei Teacher-Librarian Association (HFTLA), the first of its kind in China, has been developing strongly through collaboration. We spent our time and effort over the past two years to provide guidance on an 18-month training course for the teacher-librarians in the Alliance’s schools. The newly graduated teacher-librarians started the HFTLA and extended their influence on teacher-librarians in Guangdong and Yunnan by conducting similar training programs. In addition, they have also been proactively networking with consultants and teacher-librarians from Taiwan and Hong Kong to develop library curricula for primary schools.
After a decade of operation, the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation had experienced its share of ups and downs. This journey has deepened our knowledge of early childhood in the China context and we believe this has enabled us to support more impactful programs. Understanding the value of these lessons, we wanted to share with our family foundation peers in the Greater China region. As such, we hosted “A Dialogue in Family Philanthropy” in June, gathering 30 like-minded family principals in a 2-day discussion about social philanthropy and impact investment. We invited guests from Europe and the US so we could all learn from each other. The feedback was positive and we hope to hold similar events in the future.
2015 also noted the departure of our dearest Executive Director, Tina Chan, who has been with the Foundation for over seven years.
Of her many remarkable achievements, Tina helped to develop and successfully implemented the Hefei Flagship Program. The SSHRA was the cornerstone of this Program. SSHRA is the influential school-based literacy program that resulted in Wanghu Primary School’s awards highlighted earlier. Under Tina’s leadership, the Foundation provided teacher-librarian trainings to members of the Alliance, taking these schools to the next level – transforming school libraries into information resource centers. Her dedication to investing in Hefei has influenced Hefei’s government departments to implement policies that are in favor of school library development.
Over the past seven years, the Foundation’s grant-making approach has also extended to empowering our partners. Tina acknowledged the importance that capacity building and experience sharing within the community can do to elevate the NGOs’ capability in fundraising and fostering sustainable development.
The Foundation will continue Tina’s legacy as she pursues her philanthropic ambitions. We wish her every success.
As uncertainty regarding regulation in China looms over the philanthropic industry, the Foundation has decided to suspend funding for any new projects in China until we have more clarity on the final regulations. Despite the change in funding strategy, we remain committed to our visions and beliefs in children’s literacy with an aim to give all children access to a stimulating and enjoyable reading environment that nurtures their Creativity, Confidence, Curiosity, Compassion and Critical Thinking (5C).
Co-Chairs, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation
James Chen and Cynthia D'Anjou Brown
The Second Kumquat Awards Ceremony was held at Beijing Wuhan Hotel on November 2015 and the Foundation is delighted to share that we were ranked fifth in the foreign donor category at the Second Kumquat Awards. This is a slight improvement from our past ranking of seventh place at the first Kumquat Awards in 2013.
The Kumquat Awards was initiated by China Foundation Ranking (CFR) with an aim to promote sustainable relationship between donors and domestic NGOs. CFR is overseen by five established Chinese grassroots non-governmental organizations – Love Together Public Welfare Innovation Organization, Chinese Organization for Rare Disorders, Leling, Social Resources Institute and the New Citizen Program.
Processes were streamlined for the second evaluation in with over 190 domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs) surveyed to review over 150 candidates for the Chinese domestic and foreign donor category. The performance of donors was rigorously assessed using seven parameters; namely 1) Respectful partnership; 2) Financial support on administrative and organizational development cost; 3) External resources enhancement ; 4) Program flexibility; 5) Appropriate intervention; 6) Capacity building and 7) Leadership skills.
It is truly an honor to be selected alongside established peers like the Ford Foundation (#2), Oxfam (#4) and the Li Ka Shing Foundation (#6). The Foundation is particularly flattered that this Award was bestowed on us through feedback from our partners. They constantly inspire us to do impactful work together and we hope to achieve even more in the future.
Mr. Yuan Jin, the Founder and Director of Shanghai Heart Education plus Foundation grantee, shared his thoughts on the Award: “CYSFF has been with us since our inception, supporting us for over a decade based on James’ philanthropic model – ‘Partner beyond financial support’. I was challenged to cogitate about deeper social problems and my ability to resolve them when I prepared my first funding application to CYSFF. How should I construct actionable plans that are sustainable? The value of having partners like CYSFF extends beyond monetary terms – their informed guidance and perspective has helped improve our operations and impact as well!”
The core business of the Foundation is investing in innovative and cost-effective programs. We proactively look for like-minded organizations to be our strategic partners in pioneering solutions and launching innovative programs to address the needs of identified groups and communities.
The Foundation receives a large number of grants applications each year, and all grant application are carefully assessed and reviewed based on its individual merits. Final funding will be given to programs that are innovative, sustainable and impactful.
In order to maximize the impact of the programs and build on expertise and experience in the areas we sponsor, the Foundation focuses its efforts on reading and library support for children aged 0-12. We also support programs that promote experiential learning and facilitate industry growth, including life skills training to boost self-confidence, enhance problem-solving abilities, leadership and teamwork skills among young people; and organizational support and cross-border exchange to drive industry development.
The Foundation would like to express its sincere gratitude towards each of our partners for tackling social issues together with us. Thank you for your work and support to the Foundation.
The vision and purpose of our reading programs is ”All children should have access to an enjoyable and engaging reading environment that helps develop their creativity, confidence, curiosity, empathy and critical thinking.”
We advocate “happy, free and voluntary” reading as we believe interest in reading is fundamental to children’s independent learning and creativity. Regardless of where they are from, we hope all children can live a fulfilling childhood, develop their own interest and explore the world through the vast reading resources available to them. Indeed, ample research has proven that children interested in reading will develop stronger reading ability and perform well academically in the future.
In Aidan Chambers’ book, “The Reading Environment”, he introduced the remarkable “reading cycle” theory. One of the core concepts is an “adult with the ability to help”. He said “readers are made by readers. If a reliable adult can provide various assistance to and share his reading experience with young readers, then the children will be able to overcome all difficulties in reading. It is challenging for an adult who never reads or lack reading experiences to assist the child.” Therefore, the aim of our grant funding is to create changes among adults - shifting their conventional mindsets. Parents should respect children, give them time and space for free reading without interference, recommend stories, share their reading experience and explore the fun of reading together. In light of this, the Foundation not only supports teacher training programs, but also proactively promotes parent-child reading activities that require parent involvement.
- Mainland China
Pass Love Charity Foundation
2012.12 - 2016.12
With the aim to drive educational reform and improve teaching quality, Dandelion Village School invited professional subject teachers and social educators to assist their teachers. They jointly initiated a teaching curriculum for Chinese, Maths and Science subject lessons based on reading material in libraries for students of Grade 1 to Grade 6.
Following some exploration in the first year, the nine project teachers from five schools have actively engaged other teachers from various grades into the thematic teaching team. Elements from nature, daily life and children’s interests were incorporated into the teaching materials. During the summer of 2015, more than 70 teachers from over 10 primary schools across Zhejiang, Hubei and Anhui took part in the on-site training of the project. The curriculum reform has gradually progressed from traditional subject teaching to personalized learning model based on student’s interest and abilities.
- Mainland China
Ruili Women and Children Development Center
2015.1 - 2015.12
To promote the concept of “happy reading” in four mountain area schools in Ruili, students were provided with high-quality books and given extra time for free voluntary reading. Students would then be able to enhance their interest in reading and reading abilities.
Since attending the teacher librarian training program held by the Hefei Teacher-librarian Association in May 2015, the schools have been refining their reading environment with their own unique flavor. During the weekly reading class, teachers tell stories and recommend new books, providing a pleasant environment for children to fully immerse in the joy of reading.
- Mainland China
Qidong Jianxin Middle School
2015.1 - 2015.12
To develop a “scholastic campus” by creating classroom libraries and building a dynamic “scholastic corridor” equipped with engaging and exciting books for students.
The program not only has provided opportunity for students in the junior high schools who are facing immense academic stress to read their favorite books, but has also improved students’ literacy and writing ability as well as academic achievements in all subjects.
The school was recognized by the Qidong Youth League Committee and received the 2014 Innovative and Excellent Program Award.
- Mainland China
Read to Kids
2015.7 - 2016.6
To develop a range of tools and material for parents who are willing to promote children reading by setting up parent-child reading recreational clubs in either residential or commercial communities to carry out non-profit reading activities and advocate parent-child reading.
To date, the program has developed training material and program teaching packs, supported the establishment of six new recreational clubs, and held nearly 500 events and 12 large-scale seminars, serving over 15,000 family members.
- Mainland China
Shanghai Normal University Education Foundation
2015.7 - 2016.6
The program aims to extend and apply the experience learnt from the “students with mild intellectual disability” project in Hongkou District to facilitate students with learning difficulties. The goal is to improve their reading interest and verbal skills by interactive shared reading approach and strengthen their attention and learning ability through outreach activities.
After a semester, the program is well received among children, parents and teachers in Minhang District.
During the picture book reading session, the volunteers in the “Big leads young” team leads a group of students with learning difficulties to read a high-quality picture book every week. Students are encouraged to share their reading and life experience with each other. Parents and teachers also receive training on child psychology, strategies to interpret picture books, methods to design reading activities and more.
- Hong Kong
S.K.H. Fung Kei Primary School
2013.7 - 2016.6
Through establishing the parent-child reading corner and organizing expert talks in the reading field, parents can gain knowledge in the importance of parent-child reading, develop essential read-aloud skills and promote parent-child reading.
The parent-child reading corner houses hundreds of books suitable for children aged between 4 and 11. They are also available for parents to borrow. In the past year, library utilization rate has accelerated with over 200 parents borrowing books. Fung Kei Primary School is well positioned to create an environment for parent-child reading with the increased in time and frequency of parent-child reading among the parents with children studying in the younger grades. In the long run, the school hopes to extend the parent-child reading culture to the Whampoa community.
- Hong Kong
S.K.H. Kei Oi Primary School
2015.2 - 2015.7
Through optimizing the library’s reading space and providing diversified reading activities, students can discover the pleasure of reading, and appreciate different life experiences through stories.
The school has added almost a thousand books to its collection and taken part in Bring Me A Book Hong Kong’s activities. As part of those initiatives, the school organized the “School Outreach Reading Project for Local Students in Hong Kong” and “Volunteer Training for Parents”, successfully established a team of story-telling parents.
In addition, the school organized the “Inter-disciplinary activity: Animal Encounters - What do you know about turtles?” for Grade 1 students. They were encouraged to read nature-related books and attend field trips, so as to enjoy the fun of reading and appreciate nature.
The program positively boosted the usage of the school library and book circulation, while improving the parents’ read-aloud skills.
The Yonso Project
2014.12 - 2015.06
To support organization staffs and program stakeholders to understand more about promoting reading from children’s perspectives.
31 participants including parents and teachers from eight schools, as well as educational authorities, attended workshops held by trainers from Kenya. After the training, teachers started telling stories in classrooms. The Reading Festival which has now becoming a termly activity has helped engage kids to share the joy of reading.
Street Library Ghana
2014.12 - 2015.06
Build a book collection of local African story books to nurture children’s love for reading and promote reading from a child’s perspective.
Staff attended reading workshops and used their learnings to support community library program. Critical reading resources purchase for children were distributed to various communities via mobile vans. Between May and October 2015, 6895 visits were recorded at our mobile library service.
In the 21st century, good academic achievements alone are no longer sufficient for students to meet future challenges. Therefore, developing their soft skills and advocating well-rounded education have become a trend in educational development across all countries. The acquisition of these skills, however, requires not only learning in classrooms, but also through outdoor participation and exposure. The Foundation has continued to sponsor experiential learning programs. We hope “all children can participate in an exciting and challenging learning environment to develop their life skills, including optimism, adaptability, perseverance, self-confidence, leadership and teamwork.”
- Mainland China
Helin Art In Community
2015.1 - 2015.7
During the 2014 / 2015 school year, the Nature and Arts education curriculum were incorporated in the exploration courses in 14 schools, targeting at children from the migrant families in Jiading District, Shanghai. A support system was established for subject teachers, covering teacher training, online support, collaborative development plan and demonstration lessons assessment. The system was designed to help students draw out their inner creativity, appreciate nature, understand traditions and build self-confidence.
During the academic year, Helin Art In Community provided copies of ”The Adventure of Xiaomi” picture books to a total of 2,800 students in 14 schools for teachers to conduct training lessons based on the picture book. Teachers from the participating schools attended six training sessions held by Helin Art In Community. On average, each teacher taught 3.2 hours of local art lessons per month. Educational experts selected ten outstanding lessons among 36 demonstration lessons recorded and trophies were awarded to the teachers at the Annual Meeting held at the end of the semester.
The partnering organization, Jiading Education Bureau, conveyed their appreciation for this project and expressed interest to collaborate with Helin Art In Community on Nature and Arts education programs in the future.
- Mainland China
Haimen Amateur Sports School
2015.5 - 2016.6
Suitable candidates among the Physical Education teachers in primary and middle schools across Haimen city were selected to become local Outward Bound instructors through trainings and collaboration with the Shanghai Heart Education Community Youth Development Center.
The aim is to promote Outward Bound youth programs that complement the Education Bureau’s strategies, resources allocation and support.
20 teachers with keen interest in Outward Bound training were selected from over 120 physical education teachers in primary and middle schools in Haimen following thorough evaluation of their skills and in-depth interviews. They joined a six-week training program covering high-altitude skills, camping skills, team activities, risk and process management, plus first-aid skills. The goal is to nurture a team of local teachers for Haimen Education Bureau to carry out Outward Bound youth training.
- Hong Kong
Playright Children’s Play Association
2015.1 - 2015.7
The program aims at advocating the concept of inclusive playground developments through a Play Space Design Ideas Competition, Exhibition, PR campaign and related activities.
Using Hong Kong Tuen Mun Park as the pilot site, the Competition was rolled out in March 2015. 121 candidates registered and 54 creative design schemes were collected. With support from a highly professional jury, six winners and eight honorable mentions among the professional and student categories were selected. An Exhibition was held and an Entries Collection was published subsequently to showcase the winning design proposals.
To raise public awareness on the need for inclusive playgrounds, a series of campaigns were launched from September onward. This included an experimental video showing the underutilization of public playgrounds and a press briefing on 8 September. Participants gave positive feedback and the issue of playgrounds in Hong Kong being not exciting and fun enough for children were widely discussed. The campaign will continue and we perceived this as a milestone on the way to better playground development in Hong Kong.
As a Foundation with a 12 year history, we firmly believe it is our duty to drive industry growth. We hope to share our experience, know-how and resources accumulated in the charitable and reading field.
During the year of 2014/2015, the Foundation sponsored three types of programs, including: 1) Special funds for organizational development; 2) External exchange programs for organizations and industry meetings and 3) Development of program management tools. We are pleased to see the contribution the Foundation has made on the industry by building an efficient and positive ecosystem with support from these special funds.
Due to the impending Foreign Non-governmental Organization Management Law of China, the Foundation has temporarily suspended the consideration of new sponsorship applications from Mainland China. However, we will continue to monitor and participate in the development of the industry going forward.
- Mainland China
Teach Future China
The special sponsorship for Teach Future China (“TFC”) fund-raising staff was mainly used to support TFC to employ two full-time fund raisers. With support from the Foundation, the organization raised RMB2,583,800 in 2015 from domestic education/corporate foundations (39%), Hong Kong/overseas foundations (43%), high net worth individuals (10%), and public donations (7%). Of these, 56% consisted of agreement renewal with existing funders. As the funds raised were able to meet the capital requirement for 2016, the result of fund-raising has laid down a solid foundation for the operation and quality of programs. In the future, the organization aims to enhance the maintenance of its relationship with existing sponsors and its ability in internet fund-raising.
Meanwhile, the special funding for program quality improvement supports the organization’s efforts to improve its framework for volunteer development. Through observation, needs analysis, objective setting, plan implementation, consolidation and evaluation, it provides systematic support for volunteers to produce replicable teaching methods and case studies that cater to local students. Appropriate teaching methods will be optimized continuously through consistent practice and analysis by program members. In the long run, these methods will influence teaching practices of front-line teachers in rural areas, shaping an education environment locally featuring continuous educational innovation and accumulating ground-breaking teaching methods.
- Mainland China
Social Resources Institute
To increase philanthropic effectiveness internally within organizations, the Foundation teamed up with Beijing Yifang Foundation to support the Social Resources Institute to undertake a project named “Design, Monitoring, valuation and Learning (DMEL) for Effective Philanthropy”.
This project comprised of three parts:
1) compilation of DMEL manual to help China’s local charitable organizations understand the DMEL approach;
2) developing DMEL training programs to improve and convey the DMEL approach through training workshops and interactive lessons with students; and
3) one - on - one coaching for five representative NGOs to strengthen their ability to solve practical problems of program effectiveness using the DMEL approach.
The final product of this sponsorship is a manual named “Approach to Philanthropy”. It is now available at www.yun.baidu.com/share/link
- Mainland China
Nature Reading Studio, Smiling Library, Chongqing Dream Bookshelf
From October 14 to 28, 2015, the Foundation supported three Chinese domestic reading-focused NGOs based in the South-West region to attend an exchange program in Taiwan. During this half-month journey, they visited four branches of Associations of Storytelling Mothers, two rural reading promotion organizations, two community service centers, two rural primary schools and the Commonwealth Magazine’s children’s book department. Along the way, Ms. Xie Aishi, former President of the Taipei Association of Storytelling Mothers, accompanied and guided the group to understand the culture of Taiwan and the history of storytelling mothers in Taiwan. She also explained about the profound influence that the Association has generated towards the promotion of children reading in Taiwan.
Through these visits and dialogues, the three organizations gained a deeper understanding about the overall reading culture of Taiwan. They witnessed how Taiwan’s reading culture was promoted by all stakeholders from governmental education authorities, libraries, scholars to NGOs, just like a production chain to build an excellent ecosystem for children’s reading.
It was also recognized that the reading programs organized by the Taiwanese NGOs are simple and focused, with strong social influence. With a focus on providing reading materials, the Love Library program in Nantou has been partnering with experts and logistic companies to provide books required by teachers and community-related NGOs over the past ten years. Meanwhile, different factions of the Association of Storytelling Mothers focus on different reading approaches. For instance, one may prefer using a combination of stories and dramas, while another focuses on simple storytelling, or even the creation of original picture books. Regardless of the approach, existing public resources are fully utilized to serve the communities, schools and parents. In addition, the NGOs also met with many children reading promoters and greatly admired their dedication and professionalism in learning the reading skills. Meanwhile, the NGO representative members were also deeply inspired by their “glad to do it, willing to take it” attitude. Compared with Taiwan’s reading promotion, Mainland China has a long way to go in terms of governmental advocacy and support, research and practices of experts and scholars, the professionalism of NGOs, and most importantly, the quality of reading promoters.
- Hong Kong
Bring Me A Book Hong Kong Limited
This advocacy program builds on the success and impact of the “Love to Learn” program, launched in collaboration with The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation in 2013, to advocate for change to enhance motivation and interest to read amongst children in Hong Kong. Research (PIRLS 2011) has shown that children in Hong Kong are disposed to read, not because they like it, but because of extrinsic motivation from parents and teachers in the form of external recognition, rewards or incentives.
On 27 & 28 June 2015, we participated in the EDiversity Conference “We Need a Break”. BMABHK Trainer, Percie Wong, gave a talk to teachers on best practice sharing and four BMABHK workshops were arranged to encourage a love of reading for over 100 parents and families.
From 1 to 15 November 2015, Bring Me a Book’s lead trainer from the U.S., Julie Fowlkes, conducted 20 workshops or talks for our beneficiaries including book-making sessions, professional development classes and specialty workshops to help beginning readers.
On 18 & 19 November 2015, we arranged for popular children’s author, Jon Klassen, to give 2 large-scale talks for six of our beneficiary schools which were attended by over 600 children. We also arrange a public event which was full-house with 60 families joining and another talk at a local school for 300 children.
All the sessions were well attended with very positive feedback across all target groups.
“We received great feedback from both the English and Chinese teachers regarding the last workshop. I'm very pleased that one of our teachers has already practiced her story reading twice in preparation for next Wednesday!” Dodie Sa, Head of English Dept, Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau Primary School, where 60 teachers attended Julie’s professional development workshop
National Taiwan Normal University
The development of school libraries differs according to culture and geographical areas. In light of this, the Foundation organized an international conference named “International Conference on School Librarianship of Asian Countries” in collaboration with the Graduate Institute of Library & Information Studies and National Taiwan Normal University. The main purpose of the Conference was to explore the current development situation and problems facing school libraries across Asia. The conference advanced the understanding and interaction among school libraries and proposed possible future collaboration. The discussion topics covered school library organization and professionals, library services, reading promotion, teaching through books , information literacy, and collaborative teaching. The conference attracted renowned scholars from Asia and the rest of the world, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United States.
During the Conference, speakers provided insightful observation and findings in the literacy field. Prof. Stephen Krashen discussed the impact of reading novels on child language development; Prof. James Henri shared the current development of school libraries in Australia; Dr. Patrick Lo analyzed the research on teacher-librarians across Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea; Dr. Samuel Chu explained how to motivate students to read through playing games; Ms. Ee Min Hoon introduced Singapore’s collaborative reading model between public libraries and primary schools; Ms. Helen Boelens advocated the concept of global literacy; while Prof. Chen Chao Chen briefed on the current development of school libraries in Taiwan. Each themed speech was complemented by open discussions and idea exchanges between the speakers and the audience, giving more significance to the event.
More than 100 participants attended the conference, including not only experts and academic scholars but also current practitioners. There was a special sharing session by a few experienced Taiwanese teacher-librarians who introduced the proven success of library promotion models implemented in primary, secondary and vocational high schools.
To conclude the Conference on a high note, the Foundation announced the winners of the Library Award Scheme – an award initiated by the Foundation to recognize teacher-librarians with outstanding achievement. The innovative winning teams were presented with their award during the Conference and shared their work experience with the participants to inspire a new wave of ideas.
The Conference not only raised global awareness on the development of school libraries across Asia but also sparked potential collaboration opportunities among like-minded organizations.
The Foundation initiates and launches special programs and activities in order to support its grants more effectively. Through actively participating in the special programs, the Foundation has gained better understanding of the societal needs and operational landscape. We aim to broaden our knowledge base to meet and complement the evolving needs of our recipients.
Our flagship program, Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance (“SSHRA”) was founded in 2007 in Hefei, Anhui Province. It is operated independently by the Foundation. We aim to set it up as a local exemplar for school reading and libraries development in Mainland China through our long-term commitment.
SSHRA, a school-based literacy program, was jointly established by the Foundation and eight local schools in March 2012 following years of school reading promotion. Since its inception, SSHRA has been running reading programs in schools across Baohe District and Changfeng County of Hefei City with funding from the Foundation.
The Foundation is committed to support SSHRA to build a reading culture across school campus, facilitate schools to transform libraries into information resource centers and leverage on school libraries to explore the integration of reading into all subjects. The Foundation believes that the establishment of SSHRA can play an exemplary role for the development of reading culture and school libraries in Mainland China in the future.
Since its inception in 2012, the SSHRA members had grown from 17 to 24 members. The Alliance now consists of eight veteran schools and 16 apprentice schools. In order to better manage the operational system, the eight veteran schools hold principal roundtable meetings every two months to supervise and monitor the SSHRA.
Meanwhile, the Education Bureau of Baohe District and the Foundation collaborate to provide good-quality books, advices and guidance on the SSHRA’s management, and provide trainings for the TLs in the SSHRA’s schools to support the Alliance development. The program has evolved and extended to the launch of the innovation fund by the principal roundtable meeting. The fund is to encourage SSHRA members to innovate in the nascent reading and library development field across China.
SSHRA adopts an apprentice-based model to advocate sharing of reading experience and benefits among schools. This enables schools to overcome difficulties and issues. As of December 2015, the Alliance comprises of 24 schools. (The schools below are listed in random order)
Veteran schools partner with their apprentice schools to adopt a common agenda, such as participating in reading activities, school visits, implement strategy and promote reading across schools in order to progress and advance in the industry.
The eight veteran schools along with a representative from the the Foundation will hold principal roundtable meetings to lead and manage the Alliance.
The Alliance has been driving the growth of school library development by guiding, inspiring and advising schools to create happy reading environment and fostering reading culture across school campus. The aim is to help school libraries transform into information resource centers. Their daily activities include:
Born out of the SSHRA principal roundtable meeting, the Hefei Teacher Librarian Association (“the Association”) was established on September 29, 2013 by the TLs from the veteran schools who had received professional training.
The Association leverages on the founding members’ expertise to act as a bridge between TLs and schools across the region. In the long run, the Association aims to establish extensive connections with local and overseas professional reading organizations in order to standardize the management and development of school libraries.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Foundation had carried out our 18-month “Teacher Librarian Training” program for schools in the SSHRA. This training had positively changed the traditional perception of school principals and teachers on school libraries and TLs.
Meanwhile, Baohe District Education and Sports Bureau has implemented effective and influential policy to support duty delegation of TLs, book procurement, library refurbishment and construction of new libraries.
In 2015, The Foundation commissioned a team of experts to conduct a research to assess the impact of professional TL training on school libraries development in Hefei.
The research report will be published in 2016, so please stay tuned.
The School Library Innovation Award (the "Award") is established to promote library development; recognize innovation made by TLs; discover best practices from libraries around the region; encourage experience sharing and discussion among practitioners of different regions.
The judging panel comprised of Foundation’s consultants, Taiwan Teacher Librarian Mentoring Group and Hong Kong Teacher-Librarian’s Association.
In 2014, the Foundation founded the Award under the influence of the SSHRA;
In 2015, the Award ventured into Hefei and Taiwan;
In 2016, the Award will widen its footprints to invite applicants from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
In 2015, the Award attracted application from 10 primary school from Taiwan and 14 schools from the SSHRA. In October 2015, the Foundation held its first Award ceremony and sharing session in Hefei. The event was well attended with TLs from Taiwan and Hefei to share their experiences.
Hefei Teacher Librarian Association
Development and Practices of Library Curriculum for Primary Schools
Wanghu Primary School
My Research on Subject Reading Teaching
Taipei Wan-Xing Elementary School
Intimate Reading with a Different Perspective
Keelung Ren-Ai Elementary School
Explore the Future Ocean and Expand Urbanites' Imagination
The Foundation hosted “A Dialogue in Family Philanthropy” in Hong Kong on 7-9 June, 2015. This was an intimate gathering of principals from like-minded family foundations in Greater China where participants visited various organizations, and engaged in in-depth discussions regarding succession of family philanthropy, foundation governance, and impact investment.
We were thrilled to have guest speakers such as Mr. Firoz Ladak, CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, Ms. Sing-Ju Chang, CEO and Co-founder of Hsin-Yi Foundation and Mr. Show-Chung Ho, CEO and Chairman of Hsin-Yi Foundation, and Mr. Paul Shoemaker, Founding President and Executive Connector of Social Venture Partners International, shared their insight on the development journey of foundations and challenges in the philanthropic industry with the audience. In addition to the guest speakers, we also had a peer-to-peer session where participants were divided into three groups, to deliberate on topics of “succession”, “governance”, and “operations”.
On the last day of the event, we visited the China Exploration & Research Society (CERS) – an organization dedicated to the protection of natural heritage and promotion of traditional culture. Principals from the family foundations had the opportunity to understand funding recipient’s point of view as CERS had thoroughly shared their challenges when working with funders.
Below is a summary of key learning from this Dialogue.
Essential components for Family Philanthropy:
Expertise in chosen areas
Transparency and Sharing
For more information about the Dialogue, please visit our website.
We hope that the lessons, connections, and discussions arising from the Dialogue will facilitate and strengthen the development of family foundations in the Greater China region and create a real impact for society!
From 19 - 20 October 2015, 73 representatives from 38 organizations attended the Hefei Reading and School Library Learning Forum in Hefei, China.
Four discussion topics were selected to address the profession of the industry:
1) Where do children’s reading interests and abilities come from?
2) What is the developmental path of school reading and library programs?
3) How can reading and library programs be evaluated?
4) How to overcome bottlenecks in reading and / or teacher librarians’ professional path to promote career growth?
To answer these key questions, the Foundation invited experts and scholars from related fields to share their insights through case studies. The attendants had a chance to visit SSHRA’s member schools and speak with school principals and teachers on ways to promote school reading effectively. A member of the Hefei Teacher Librarians Association came to the Forum to share her inspiring anecdote in reading promotion.
Having invested over ten years in the reading field, the Foundation will continue to support the development of the industry to promulgating our experience and know-how with our peers. We hope the development model of our Hefei flagship program can be of reference to our peers.
In order to achieve these two objectives, we shared two important beliefs at the Forum. Firstly, that free and voluntary reading is essential for children to enjoying reading . They should be given access to private and undisturbed reading hours. Secondly, research studies have proven that libraries, school libraries in particular, are highly effective to the promotion of reading.
Going back to basics is how the Foundation relates to children’s literacy. Going forward, we will continue to do relevant research on this industry and share our know-how and experience with our peers.
The Fourth Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award Ceremony and the Fifth Chinese Picture Book Forum were held on 21 and 22 November, 2015 in Zhejiang Normal University. Over 400 attendants came to witness and share the honor with the Award-winning authors and illustrators. The event serves as a platform to interact with professionals of the original picture book industry. During the Forum, Mr. Jon Klassen, a global Award-winning writer and illustrator of children's books, actively engaged with the audience to introduce the rationale behind his work. A number of scholars, professionals, teachers and publishers also joined to share their experiences of promoting and publishing children’s picture books.
Apart from encouraging writers and illustrators to produce original Chinese language children’s picture books, the Award also aims to encourage the public to value and read Chinese language children’s picture books and frequently organizes reading activities to engage teachers, parents and children. In 2015, the Award collaborated with the Foundation to host two events in Hong Kong and Shenzhen respectively.
In January 2015, Mr. Chih-Ming Huang, winner of the Outstanding Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award, and Ms. Li-Rong Shi, one of the award finalists of the third Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award, were invited to four primary schools in Hong Kong. They read their books to more than 100 students and joined the children for a picture book-inspired handcrafting session.
In March 2015, Ms. Ying Jiang, and Ms. Yong Zhao, two teachers from the Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance, who won the Outstanding Story Award, were invited to demonstrate their works to more than 200 parents and children in Shenzhen. Their riveting reading skills led to a lively and engaging storytelling session.
|Business Development Expenses||274,721|
|Project Management, Development & Outreach||83,273|
|Special Program Funding||1,974,066|
|Total Expenditure for the Year||5,571,379|
The Foundation would like to express their most sincere gratitude to donees and partners for their understanding and cooperation, and special thanks to Shenzhen I Read Foundation for office support.