CMS Student-led Service Learning Trip
On May 23, the 10th grade Advanced English class at Concordia Middle School (CMS) in Chia-yi, Taiwan, participated in a service learning trip to Jhu Yuan Elementary School in rural Taiwan. This small school only has 58 students in grades 1-6.
Principal Benjamin Tsai, a CMS alumnus, is committed to improving language learning at his school, and he worked with CMS teachers Mary Lin and Mark Wolfram to organize the event. Mark Wolfram led the class of 30 CMS students to Jhu Yuan to facilitate an afternoon of English activities. The trip was sponsored by the Asia Lutheran Education Association (ALEA) Service Learning Grant which paid for transportation, insurance, and teaching materials for the CMS students.
Prior to the trip, the CMS students spent several weeks preparing teaching materials and games. The tenth graders divided themselves into six groups. Three of the groups taught grades 1-3, while the other three taught grades 4-6. The students had to prepare a 40 minute lesson by creating teaching goals, visual aids, and a game. They taught their 40 minute lesson three times over the course of the afternoon.
Some of the lesson themes included sports, fruit, and body parts. At Jhu Yuan, both sets of students really enjoyed the experience, as there were smiles on the faces of the elementary and high school students alike. For the elementary students, it was a great chance to use English and learn new words and ideas, all within the framework of fun, interactive lessons.
For the 10th graders, it was a great chance to be role models and help encourage the little ones in their study of English. Even better, the group was blessed to be able to use the trip as an opportunity to share the Gospel.
At an opening assembly, three CMS students introduced the Gospel message and gave each elementary student a bracelet and explained how each color could help them remember the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.
In their reflection following the trip, CMS students seemed very grateful for the opportunity to serve, and wrote how this opportunity helped them grow as both leaders and English learners. The money remaining from the ALEA Service Learning Grant will be used to fund similar trips in 2014 and 2015. Praise God for this chance for CMS to share Jesus through both word and action with these students in rural Taiwan, as well as the funding made possible by ALEA.