Thursday, May 6, 2010

Skateboard Girl

Well, it was love at first sight. Jingju met an older girl with a skateboard at CASPY a few weeks ago and fell in love with skateboarding. I'm learning that Jingju has no fear, and is probably going to give me years of worry. When I found out that Jingju's new friend was coming again for a visit and wanted to see Jingju and give her one of her old skateboards, I immediately went out and bought enough padding to cover every vulnerable inch of her body. She now has the skateboard, and couldn't be happier.

Jingju at CASPY with her new friend on a skateboard for the first time.

Jingju with her new friend and her big sibling (right) at CASPY

Jingju & Co.

Last weekend, flying solo. 
I did ask Jingju's friend to teach her how to stop the next time she visits.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dumplings Play Group

Jingju had a wonderful experience this year going to her Dumplings play group. Dumplings was developed by China Care for adopted Chinese children and their families. It's run by a wonderful group of student volunteers who put together activities to raise our children's awareness and appreciation for their Chinese language and cultural heritage.

This is Maylene, playing the Chinese lute with Jingju and her little friend. Jingju is so good with younger children. Maylene has also been Jingju's big sibling at the Chinese Adopted Siblings Program For Youth-- CASPY,
which is a biannual cultural day for families with Chinese adopted children.

The students cooked a delicious goodbye dinner and hosted a banquet for us in the dining hall of their dorm to end out the year. After dinner, Jingju wandered outside to the court yard where some students were playing volley ball. Leave it to Jingju to put herself right into the middle of the game. The students were so generous and kind to her.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Half The Sky (again)

In April, we received the completed translation from Chinese to English of Jingju's Half The Sky Memory book. We are so, so thankful that Jingju was in an orphanage with a Half The Sky program. For those who don't know about Half the Sky, here's a program description from their website:

In the Little Sisters Preschools, Half the Sky-trained teachers use a unique and progressive curriculum that blends principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education with contemporary Chinese teaching methods. The program is designed not only to prepare the children (2-7years) to succeed in Chinese schools, but also to help develop the “whole child”, to help her attain the positive sense of self so often missing in institutionalized children.
Special areas are designed for art projects, music, reading, imaginary play and developing motor skills. Teachers build on the approach fostered in the infant nurture program by getting to know each child’s individual interests and developing curriculum and projects based on those interests. 

All Half the Sky preschool teachers are university or normal school (teacher’s college)-educated in China and also undergo Half the Sky training which includes an emphasis on documenting each child’s progress – creating a personal history and permanent record for children who do not have a family to mark their milestones and achievements.

Here are some examples of pages from Jingju's book:

November 24, 2005
The walls of the classroom are plastered with many pictures of the children doing activities. Jingju really likes to look at them. Every time we put new pictures up, she would excitedly look at all of them and talk about them. She can name all the people in the pictures. But she still lacks the ability to express and communicate what people are doing in the pictures. One day, Minqin and Jingju were looking at pictures together. Jingju named all the people in the pictures.
Minqin: “Here. Juju is in the picture. Look, what were you doing here?” (She couldn’tsee the picture too clearly)
Ju: “Shi de. Juju ah! Juju.”35 (She pointed at herself in the picture and repeated her name, but couldn’t say anything else).

35 “Yes. Juju Ah! Juju.”

November 16, 2007
Today was Ju’s first time playing in the inflatable palace. She was very excited as she quickly took off her shoes and climbed into the palace. She bounced happily inside, and played with all the different stuffed animals. Ju took great advantage of every corner, and had a blast. In the end she made herself collapse onto the cushioned floor of the palace,which made her bounce back up. She laughed out loud and continued playing. She was in such good spirits.

Here's a great story from Half The Sky about one of Jingju's teachers. 
Can you pick Jingju, Yanni, and Tessa out in the picture?