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Literacy Workshop for aLife!



Learning Vessels grew out of our efforts to support disadvantaged children in their learning. Through our “Early Learning Programme”, we work with charity partners to enable volunteers from all walks of life to deliver intervention-based literacy and numeracy lessons for the children. It was a pleasant surprise when Atiqah, Programme Executive at aLife, approached us about a customized workshop for her volunteers. aLife was new to us, but we could empathize with the challenges of working with children across a range of ages, and trying to design lessons that are targeted, engaging and yet educational.


During the training session, we compressed key tips on topics like how children learn to read, components of a balanced literacy programme, how-to-teach phonics and sight words, and managing children during lessons. It was a lot to squeeze into one morning, and we weren’t sure if what we shared would be helpful for the aLife team. We were surprised and very grateful to see the feedback provided by Atiqah subsequently (pasted below). Thanks so much Atiqah for taking the effort to write this to us, and for reaching out to us in the first place! We hope your programme will keep growing and successfully impact more and more children.


 

"My volunteers expressed that they now have a clearer understanding on how to manage the kids in terms of engagement. They now understand how to prevent kids from crossing boundaries by establishing a sense of authority during sessions instead of being overly friendly.



Some did express that before this they did struggle with being lenient with the kids which resulted in poor engagement with the children since the volunteers were afraid of being stern when they needed to be.

Additionally, my volunteers were grateful that they are now aware of differing techniques of word-blending that are inclusive of the needs of various children. They usually facilitated sessions using the family grouping method and now they're equipped with another technique of going about it.


Another volunteer also expressed that they are thankful that the trainer went through the letter sounds from A-Z. It's pretty common that even adults make mistakes in enunciating certain letters and to sit through a refresher on such a simple topic was enlightening and it gave them the confidence that they never knew they needed to teach our beneficiaries.

After re-watching the recording I personally think that Hsin-Ee did a great job in squeezing such dense content within 2-hours without making it dry, she did a good job engaging my volunteers and keeping them on their toes despite them being shy.

The tips on making SpeakEasy a more balanced programme were also pretty useful, for instance, incorporating both phonics and sight words in the syllabus to take into consideration both upper decoding circuit and lower direct circuit into a child's learning.



Furthermore, the tips on making the programme more tactile-oriented were extremely useful as examples were also given such as foam letters and sand/salt being used to engage younger children.


I appreciate both of your help in organising this workshop."


 

About aLife:

aLife Limited was established in 2002 and it is a secular non-profit Institute of Public Character (IPC) charity organization and a member of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).


aLife's comprehensive suites of services cater to the growing needs of young families, couples contemplating marriage, individuals and families going through challenging times.


aLife strongly believes that every child, regardless of circumstance, is entitled to a good education and a stable, secure and nurturing environment to grow up in. We aim to improve the quality of life of children from low-income and dysfunctional households through counselling, public education and child support.


aLife's website: https://www.alife.org.sg/


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