Celebrate a successful 2008!!!

September 16, 2008

Dear dudes and dudettes,

You guys have totally brought Gift to new heights! Your independence, unwavering enthusiasm and passion has shone brightly throughout the term. Let me just highlight what you have done soooooo well. Let's send congratulatory notes via our blog to those who have contributed to these specific parts along with a pat on their backs for jobs well done. You know who the drivers for each of these items are!

C'mon and spam each other with your appreciation!

1) Coordination of classes & lesson plan prep for Friday & Sat were great! This includes attendance, tags, collection & return of deposits, borrowing & returning of library books, taking minutes of debriefs, cleaning of shutters, managing keys, room arrangements, notices on doors and lifts, informing office staff of admin matters, purchasing & distributing of tidbits, arranging material for activities and all the little things that mean so much!

2) Savvy manner of keeping in touch with each other and strengthening the bond among volunteers – Blog / Facebook / SMS / email / shout-outs / stalking / haunting in dreams etc. Your weekly attendance was unprecedented!

3) Preparation b4 sessions – You are almost automated in your coordination!

4) Do you know that you look AMAZING when all of you come down in Gift T-Shirts??? You look absolutely awesome both in Black and in White! Like Yin & Yang - You look pro and hip!

5) Activities this term were very apt and value adding! Keep it up! Activities are very effective ways to bring stories, characters and moral values to life. Lots of great, creative ideas, lots of effort in preparation and best of all, lots of enthusiastic responses from childrenall caught on camera! Let the pics be an effective way of reminding you of activities that were effective and which were less so.

6) Getting a new set of big books!!! Well done on Finally purchasing NEW BIG Books. Not all titles are fantastic – there could have been better screening of value-based books versus cutsie and pop-up books, but I think, we now have the responsibility of making the best use of them and I trust that you will work towards squeezing the maximum 'value' out of them.

7) Engagement with parents – you have noticeably maintained very friendly, trusting relationships with the parents of many of our children. This is very important and commendable. Having parents connect with the idea of spending quality 'reading-time' with their children definitely helps us in our mission of inculcating a love for reading in children, doesn't it? Well done you guys, who have exchanged, at the very least, a smile with a mama or papa of our Gift children! The parents were very very happy watching our children perform the mass dance during our last session! Kudos to all of you for teaching, learning, and enjoying it all within the hour!

8) Debriefs – Kheng, Waimin, Tong, Wenbo and all else who have led / steered debriefs in my absence – kudos to you! This is by far the most important piece of 'jigsaw' that boosts our growth and development. On a personal and team level, you have seen how you and our fellow GoR-ers have perfected skills, raised to challenges, reflected with intensity and emerged as both leaders of self and of our GoR team. Hugggzz to everyone of you for participating and contributing unfailingly, patiently, even if you only had to say 'I have nothing to say' at times or had to stay late into the night to hear everyone out.

9) Constructive Criticism – With debriefs come, sometimes, difficult moments where you may have to give harsh feedback, or worse, receive harsh feedback. I marvel at our maturity to keep learning points objective, at our humility to accept shortcomings and most importantly our efforts in improving ourselves. This is the gracious spirit of our Gift Culture – where we help each other grow and become better individuals. Be real proud of your courageous stand!

10) Your love for Gift, the children and each other has evolved into a web – a bond that is capable of achieving great things and at the same time, so fragile that any point (of the web) could easily lose its stickiness and rip off, invariably causing damage to the rest of the web. I ask that you keep nurturing the bonds that you share with each other, expand your circles of friendship and include both existing GoRers (not already close to you or those who have fallen through the cracks) and in-coming new volunteers with Arms & Hearts wide open. With genuine care, we can achieve so much more as a team.

Love,
Kish

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