Seven students serve in steamy Shanghai summer
Wittenberg University started a new summer service program in 2011, partnering with Yew Wah International School of Shanghai, a private school serving Chinese nationals. The East Asian Institute planned and sponsored the program, allowing seven students to teach in Yew Wah’s two week summer school at their campus in central Shanghai. The students then organized and lead summer camp activities for Chinese primary students in Shanghai, in rural Hubei Province, and at a park near Kunming in Yunnan Province. Finally they had the option to travel independently for one week (those who toured went to Beijing). Yew Wah also provided introductory Chinese language lessons to students new to the culture and language.
Three English majors (Lauren Terry, Alissa Wachman, and Taylor Smith) were part of the Wittenberg team. Also participating were two Education majors (Darcey Caciano and Christiana Lehman), and two Chinese/East Asian Studies majors (Erica Davis and Caitlan Ruff). Our students possessed great flexibility and a willingness to work very long hours, sometimes under less than optimal conditions. I think they produced and achieved more than they imagined was possible. Through their hard work, flexibility, and self-awareness they created an outstanding and supportive Witt team; the resulting reward was thanks and praise from the children (and staff) they touched. Our students all remarked that the best part of the experience was interacting with children.
After this successful summer experience, Yew Wah has expressed an interest in exploring other ways they might be able to partner with Wittenberg.