V O I C E S
FROM SIEM REAP
July 2014
 
Cambodian Minister declares CFC
'the model school'
History was made at the June 10th dedication and grand opening of the Aranh Sakor High School. Together with CFC administration and faculty and esteemed members of the Cambodian Ministry of Education, CFC Founder Jamie Amelio and Chairman Bill Amelio along with a delegation from the CFC Texas chapter took part in traditional ribbon-cutting and the release of doves intended to signify a new beginning and to applaud all that this school represents for the future.
      
 
In his remarks, the Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron gave CFC a resounding stamp of approval and articulated a promise on behalf of the Cambodian government to continue to invest in education and to support the development of schools following CFC's model. In his own words, Dr. Hang Chuon shared that:


“CFC is the standard of education in Cambodia. All the things we have on our education roadmap are implemented in CFC schools. I am humbled by what the CFC team has accomplished. We are designating CFC schools as the model schools for all Cambodia. We need to learn from what has been done here and spread the best practices across the country”.

His observations and public remarks speak volumes for the recognition of CFC's achievements, reputation and contribution to changing the state of education in Cambodia. From early preschool years through high school curriculums, CFC has successfully developed the model for child-friendly education. We could not be more humbled by Dr. Hang Chuon's words and more proud of our CFC staff for it is them that will continue to carry the torch of excellence in education for years to come.
 
Announcement and heartfelt thanks
Diane Ayres, our Teacher Training Director in Siem Reap, will be completing her contract with CFC at the end of August. Diane has been a significant contributor to the development and expansion of the CFC teacher training program in her current role for the past three years and previously as a volunteer teacher trainer for three years. Her dedication to excellence in education and building Cambodian mentors has been a huge asset to our staff and students. She will be missed.
 
"I have loved every minute of my time with CFC and feel very excited for the person who will replace me, for the wonderful people they will work with and the experiences they will have. I will, of course, continue to fight the 'orange' fight from wherever I am in the world and CFC shall remain forever within me."
~~ Diane Ayres, Teacher Training Director

We all wish Diane every success and happiness for her future!
 
Science lessons are focus of teacher training workshops
A team of eighteen international teacher trainers from Tanglin Trust School in Singapore under the leadership of veteran Katie Sansom and Angela Dawson organized a three-day workshop in early June that focused on Science lessons for the preschool and primary school grades and leadership goals. As evidence that CFC's reach continues to extend beyond our own classroom gates and that we have been chosen as the model for Cambodian education, the sessions were attended by one hundred and twenty-one teachers including many from four non-CFC schools.
  
Interactive games and experiments were introduced at each grade level covering topics such as plants, magnetism, weather, map reading, and friction and air resistance. Participating teachers were required to write lesson plans incorporating the new techniques and resources, and then practice these lessons in front of student groups.
 
 
 
At left, young students learn how to read a thermometer and measure temperature and at right, sixth-grade students learn to use a pulley made out of strings. 
 
 
 
 
The leadership training focused on setting annual goals, creating a school vision and reflection on progress to date. Principals shared candid feedback about various challenges they face with leadership, effective communication and delegating responsibilities among faculty members. These discussions provided a relaxed and cooperative setting for staff to share ideas and best practices.
 
 
The three-day trip culminated with a community presentation and distribution of hygiene packs donated by Singapore supporters. Many thanks to the Tanglin Trust teachers for their tireless energy and commitment to these training workshops!
 
Aspiring teachers participate in CFC training program
In early May, thirty-five students from Bakong High School were chosen to participate in the third annual Teacher Assistant training workshop offered for students who aspire to be teachers after graduation. With workshops like this and other career preparation programs, CFC is enabling successful post-graduate opportunities for our older students.

Participants worked in Bakong Primary School classrooms and received instruction on how to support students in learning the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic. In addition, they were introduced to strategies on how to support group work, how to effectively set up a classroom and how to prepare resources. 




As with all CFC training, the workshops were dynamic with ample opportunities for students to practice the techniques they learned in real-life settings with students under the watchful and supportive eye of CFC mentor teachers. In addition to practical teaching tools, these trainees also received valuable practice with self-confidence and communication skills as they interacted with both teachers and students alike.

Many thanks to Teacher Training Director Diane Ayres, her assistant May Kheng and a fantastic team of mentor teachers and coordinators for working hard to inspire the next generation of teachers!
 
Health and Dental volunteers conduct valuable screenings
Over two days in mid-June, BMI (body mass index) and vision screening exams were administered to two hundred and ninety students at Aranh Primary and Aranh Junior High School by a team of volunteers working with our in-country medical team. Elisa Chan, a nurse at the Singapore American School, and her niece, Vanessa Chan, were joined by Lehigh University student Amanda Blain-Pritt. Results of the screenings determined that five junior high school students had low vision scores and were in need of eye glasses. Since then, these students have received new eyeglasses (pictured above) which will undoubtedly enable better learning.

Elisa also engaged in valuable discussions with CFC school Nurse Uom Im on establishing guidelines for schools on when a child should be sent home due to illness or for parents on when a child should be kept home from school due to illness.

A fundamental component of CFC's Health and Dental initiatives is preventative care. Routine screenings like those conducted on this volunteer trip are an essential tool for discovering medical issues so that solutions can be found and students can keep learning.
 
Teaching skills on the court
Daniel McConaghy, a rising senior at Singapore American School, traveled to Siem Reap in early June and led a two-day basketball clinic at the Aranh campus with the help of his sister, Alex McConaghy, and friend, Izzy Tan (at right). In sweltering heat conditions, the enthusiastic volunteers taught over one hundred CFC students from four different schools as well as Physical Education teachers.



All participants received a donated practice shirt and, in addition, sixteen basketballs were donated by Mike Denzel of the FastBreak Basketball Club in Singapore. Daniel intends to return in the coming school year to build on these new sports skills. Based on the success and popularity of this first clinic, he will no doubt receive a warm welcome on the court!

 
 
Summer internships to focus on select CFC programs
During the summer months, our school campuses will welcome interns from Lehigh University and Yale-National University of Singapore as they work on projects aimed at technology, Lifeskills and Career Preparation programs. We are grateful for their enthusiasm and new ideas and we look forward to the results of their projects. 
 
Lehigh University
Pictured at left are summer interns from Lehigh University who are working a varity of projects at CFC schools. Luke Zhang (left) has been assessing and upgrading computers across all campus computer labs and has been training trachers on the new management database. Amanda Blain-Pritt (center) has been writing curriculum and lesson plans for the Lifeskills Wheel extracurricular program. Amy Moyer (right) has been modeling and training on best practice teaching strategies with junior high and high school English teachers at Aranh and Bakong secondary schools. 
 
An earlier addition to the extracurricular Lifeskills Wheel program was an engineering workshop developed by Whitney Szmodis as part of the CFC-Lehigh partnership. Primary school students were encouraged to improve their creativity and critical thinking skills by building and testing bridges (at right). Impressive!
 
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Yale-National University of Singapore

A rising sophomore at Yale-National Univerity of Singapore (NUS), Lynn Lee (at left) will be working with Pen Rithy to further develop the Career Preparation Program. She will be responsible for expanding the program curriculum and developing a program manual to share with other NGOs.
 
International school service trips
 
Tanglin Trust School (Singapore)
Twenty-six students from Tanglin Trust School in Singapore worked on multiple projects at the Aranh, Bakong and Kong Much campuses. The international students also engaged one-on-one with CFC students during a village ramble scavenger hunt and a tour of Siem Reap's historic temple grounds.

This recent service trip is a continuation of the on-going relationship between CFC and the entire Tanglin community The considerable time and valuable resources given from Tanglin students, faculty and parents have an immeasurable impact on our schools. We are continually grateful.

 
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Overseas Family School (Singapore)

Twenty students and supervising teachers from Overseas Family School (OFS) in Singapore worked at the Aranh Primary School campus laying concrete and building a garbage storage area. The group also interacted with students from the Aranh Sakor  High School during a village ramble scavenger hunt. In addition to raising the funds for their projects, the OFS group donated study materials to distribute to all schools.

       
 
With thanks to our visiting volunteers 
Summer months bring many visitors to our schools and we are forever grateful for everyone's contributions and time spent helping beautify our campus grounds. Thank you!
 
Make A Difference (M.A.D.) Trip
The first summer M.A.D. trip organized      in early June brought five volunteers from Singapore to the Bakong Primary School campus for three days of hard work painting tables and spreading dirt. Plans are underway for next summer's M.A.D. trip with the hope to include supporters from around the globe. Stay tuned!
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Physics training
Daniel and Caroline Oman led a two-day physics training with teachers at Bakong High School in early June and generously donated enough resources for each CFC junior high and high school campus science lab. Lessons were taught on electrostatics, electric circuits and pressure, and they were also filmed with a translator so they can be used in the future.

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Family service trips
As the summer months kick off family holiday plans, many families choose to incorporate service on their visits to Siem Reap and CFC schools. In addition to leaving our campus grounds more accessible, safer and more beautiful than before their arrival, the commitment and work ethic displayed by family volunteers offer our CFC communities a role model for taking pride in and responsibility for their own school environment.



The Ford Family (at right) worked one day at the Aranh campus planting trees, laying paving stones and building seats for an outdoor study hut.



After learning about CFC from friends, the Sokensen Family of Singapore (at left) decided to plan their own visit to Siem Reap and helped repair the playground facilities and build recycling bings at Kong Much Primary School. Inspired by their visit, they returned home with the promise to continue to support CFC, and with a recent collection of 10,000 toothbruses they have held true to that promise!
 
 
Have you received your 2013 Annual Report?

Annual reports for the 2013 calendar year have been mailed to supporters. To view a pdf version of this year's report, please click here.  
If you have not received your copy, please email us with your mailing address at volunteers@caringforcambodia.org.
 
 
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Follow all CFC news through stories and pictures posted on our facebook page [click here] and on our Twitter account [click here].
 
      
 

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Caring for Cambodia
900 RR 620 S # C101-304
Lakeway, TX 78734-5615
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