We started a project of afternoon classes for community children several months ago during the COVID era when our resident population was only 23. There was considerable interest in the community because, during that time, no classes were taught at the local schools. Once the COVID restrictions were lifted and the public school reopened, we thought the interest in attending courses at Wat Opot would dwindle… but instead, they increased. The lifting of restrictions also allowed Social Services to start their community work again and we have since added 10 new residents. This increase has forced us to hire new staff as teachers and caregivers. When Mr. Dara returned to take over the management of our community he suggested starting a daycare center in the mornings while our children attended public school. We would charge $10.00 a month, as we already were doing with the community students, and if we got enough toddlers it would help cover at least some of the cost for the new staff. Today we have 13 children enrolled and are hoping to get a few more.
The afternoon classes are also going well with over 40 community children joining our residents every afternoon for classes in Khmer, Math, and English…
and there is also an English class taught by a teacher who has lived in Cambodia for over 25 years and still only speaks English and whose main emphasis is getting the students to stick their tongues out whenever they see a word that has a “TH” in it.
The lessons are simple, usually something I come up with just before class. The object is for them to write the words and say them even if they don’t really understand the meaning, which much of the time there is not.
Thanks for stopping in. If anyone would like to support us in this new endeavor so that maybe we can afford a real English teacher, follow the links on the CONTACT PAGE.
I’m so impressed how you’ve developed these programs for community kids to join the resident WO kids! It’s been too long since I’ve been there, I don’t recognize one pre-schooler!
I do hope to return some day, you all remain in my heart.