In 2017, 11 students graduated from the preschool program.
We launched our Preschool Program in March 2013. Our preschool class runs for two hours a day, from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. The students learn how to read and write in their native language. They play sports (concentrating on the aspect of teamwork), do arts and crafts, play with toys, learn about good habits and spend time in the library. In addition to this, the students brush their teeth at HHA every day. Before attending HHA none of our students had ever brushed their teeth before, so this is a crucial habit to begin at this age. On Fridays, they receive a snack of soy milk and learn about living values.
Unfortunately, many children in our community are neglected by their parents who have to work very hard all day just to make ends meet, so young children either have to go to work with their parents, stay at home unsupervised, or work themselves. By putting these students into Preschool every day, they are under the supervision of good role models and are less likely to form bad habits or attitudes. Another purpose was to show the students, but especially their parents, the importance of education, so they can be enrolled in Public School once they reach six years of age.
Before we break for the religious festival Pchum Benh each year, we have a graduation ceremony for the Preschool students who are leaving the program and transitioning to Primary School. We present each student with a school starter pack to properly equip them for school.
As time went by, Clay grew into a confident, extremely intelligent child. He stayed at HHA a full day and spent countless hours in the library putting together complicated puzzles and reading books. He began studying in English classes too and was one of the top performing students in his class.
In October 2015 Clay graduated preschool and was enrolled in public school. We were finally able to convince two of his siblings to study with us, so they take him on their bicycle on the 8km round journey to and from HHA each day.
Clay studies Khmer language with us and has moved up in English class. His attitude and behaviour have improved and he continues to thrive.
It costs $10 a month to provide education to a preschool student. Become a Preschool Champion today!