How does Circuit Breaker impact C3 GROW's children?
Suspension of all GROW centres since March
Our nation’s Circuit Breaker inevitably meant the suspension of all our GROW centres. Our students who lack the foundation in English literacy could no longer receive support from GROW centres. Coupled with the lack of home support, these children from less privileged backgrounds are at a huge disadvantage as compared to their peers.
We could not afford to sit and wait for the circuit breaker measures to end.
But that brought about a new struggle for us – how do we translate our GROW lessons, which are very interactive and rely heavily on flashcard games, online?
Adaptability is key: Online lessons for all
Enter Eunice Goh (EG), the programme manager of our Children Services, who tailored all the lesson plans to suit the new mode of delivery. This was only possible as all our GROW lessons are developed in-house and we do not face any copyright constraints.
Additionally, instead of our usual teacher-student ratio of 1:5, we decided to do 1-to-1 teaching for 90% of our students. This helped to compensate for the decreased engagement when conducting our lessons online.
Eunice Tan (ET), programme executive of C3 Children Programmes was reminded of GROW Online’s importance when she was doing a Skype orientation session with our students. We had a K2 student could not even read the letters of the alphabet.
“I am so excited for GROW Online as it means that we are able to provide continued support for these children who so sorely require the additional help! There is really no better feeling than seeing and experiencing, together with the child, their success experiences!”
Resources to make it happen for children who need it most
Unfortunately, the home environments of many of our students living in rental flats is not conducive for learning.
Hence, we provided headsets with microphones as well as devices for our students who require it. These resources are important for their learning and help them in practical ways.
With good quality headsets, they can now access online learning portals and block out the noise in their homes. This enables both the child and volunteer to hear each other better.
What went on behind the scenes?
The initial idea of holding GROW Online for children with short attention spend was stressful. Most parents had no idea how to help their children log on for the online lessons. Moreover, many of our volunteers, who are university students and working professionals, had no prior experience conducting lessons online.
To overcome this, we conducted individual training sessions for all parents and volunteers to teach them to use the online system. Additionally, we scheduled observation sessions for our volunteers to familiarize them with GROW Online.
Our “open-door” policy at C3 also allows for volunteers to text our staff anytime for support and advice. In doing so, we hope to empower and equip our volunteers to be more confident when carrying out their roles.
It took a full team – volunteers, staff, trusting parents and partners to roll out our first GROW online lesson on the 13th April for our students. We sincerely hope that when these children resume school, their learning is not too adversely affected and they will be able to keep up with their peers!
“She likes (GROW Online) a lot and is happy to know new words. Thank you”
Message received from a parent of our P1 GROW student