- KG-G3 Wuxi
- G4-G6 Anji
- G7-G8 Yangshuo
- G9-G10 Shaolin
- G11-G12 Sanya
During Week Without Walls in Anji, students participated in engaging activities in the beautiful outdoors to work together as a team and use their communication and creativity skills to complete activities and get through challenges. They demonstrated open-mindedness and were risk-takers by trying new things, challenging themselves, taking on leadership roles, and allowing others to be leaders. Each one of our BIS students experienced personal growth and pushed themselves to meet challenges. We are all proud of them.
Day 1&2: It was amazing to see BIS students switch between teaching and learning so seamlessly. Our students made us proud by trying their absolute best to bring the Kingfu School students lessons that were enjoyable and meaningful. They tried just as hard when it came to being KungFu students themselves and showed a great deal of resilience in learning this. Mostly, the way our students related to the Kingfu School students at our farewell dinner touches my heart.
Day 3: The most memorable moment was seeing how our students encouraged each other to keep going despite exhaustion and fear of heights during our hike on the SanHuangZhai pass. Shaolin Temple has so much rich, wonderful history and the monks have brought us to a point of realization that we live incredibly privileged lives.
Day 4: The way the students took to tree-planting still leaves me amazed. As many complaints about exhaustion as there were on Day 3, Day 4 only held enjoyment and laughter as we planted up to 90 trees, contributing to the effort to combat desertification.
The 7th and 8th grades spent an active and eventful week in Yangshuo. Throughout the week there were many highlights like the bicycle tour along the river in a beautiful scenery, camping and cooking our own pasta dinner. The climbing was a great event as well and even students with a fear of heights gave it a try. On one evening we got to see the light show on the lake in Yangshuo. The light, colors and singing were magical.
In the cooking school the students learnt to cook 3 different delicious dishes. They got the recipes to cook it at home as well and we found some potential chefs in grade 7 and 8.
Another great activity was the social service. The students went to a school for children with special needs and planted trees, cleaned up the garden and supported in classes. It was wonderful to see how committed the students were.
Day 1: Arrival. Much excitement. BIS students gathered around in a big circle interlocked at the “welcome to Sanya” airport spot and chanted out their sports team battle cry. Those who didn’t know learned the chant. Drove to the hotel, got checked in and right to work surf training at the hotel pool (ample sized). Students all tried and learned critical techniques as well as a conversation about learning from failure as all were guaranteed to work hard to learn. Surfing is not easy! worked until dinner, and closed the evening with a plan for the coming day.
Day 2: Students spent the morning working with surf instructors getting assisted onto waves and solely working on the “pop-up technique” to be able to stand on a surf board. Amazing to have ALL students try and try and try until success with the assisted launch into waves. Afternoon spent learning to catch waves solo. Pride all around al ALL students caught waves eventually and could ride them to shore. Pride abound in learning something in a “relatively short” amount of time, but the learning that such a HUGE act was accomplished through countless attempts. The evening was then spent reflecting on learnings and then training for the service project during day 3. BIS trip leaders did room inspection contests while students went through the training. Room inspections were rated on Neatness Cleanliness Creativity Appreciations to leaders.
Day 3: Likely the most memorable, activities wasted no time getting to The Bright Connections school for children with severe physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Health safety measures taken, and students got immediately introduced to their team projects selected the night before (Kitchen food prep, Physical Therapy, cleaning, teaching simple skills to maths and language). Panthers made BIS proud in their loving work and sacrificial hard labor in their areas. They helped feed students at lunch and prep for nap. Then lunched together hosted by The Bright Connection in preparation for afternoon shift. Afternoon included a one on one neighborhood walk with students followed by more afternoon tasks and hands-on work. The goodbye was bittersweet, as love was developed and in a way students didn’t want to leave. They were drawn to the need.
Day 4: Tree Planting- After breakfast we drove one hour to a coastal rehabilitation area to plant 40 native plants of differing varieties that can help to rebuild coastal environments overran by invasive parasitic plants.
During WWW trip in Sanya, our G11 and G12 students spent a day volunteering at The Bright Center, a school for a group of children with autism. Beginning the day, students were divided into small groups: helping in the kitchen, doing cleaning, teaching painting, reading books, feeding, taking them out for exercise. Can you imagine our strong, athletic boys patting babies to sleep? Will you picture our slight-figured girls carrying those young boys for half an hour and telling stories? Are you seeing an image of our panthers talking to them all day long just to get a smile and nod? Stepping into the school, our students were touched by the strange and uneasy eyes of those students. By the time we were leaving, we saw shining faces waving us goodbye. Our students had shown great patience, resilience, and passion for charity, and meanwhile, are truly role models of the BIS community. Many people would say that children with autism are closed in their inner world. They know the language but struggle to communicate with others, they have the hearing but hardly respond to people, they are curious about the world but are seldomly understood by outsiders. Are these true? Perhaps. Have we made a difference? A little bit, maybe. Are we coming back to TBC next year? 100% yes!