The story appears on

Page B4

August 30, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Dream projects to spread knowledge

A charity has been busy setting up Dream Centers in rural schools across the country to promote the joy of learning to students with the help of modern technology, writes Nie Xin.

Two weeks ago, more than 300 volunteers from Shanghai, Guangzhou and other Chinese cities completed a 48-day trip in which they visited 270 rural schools in 17 provinces including Sichuan, Gansu, Guizhou and Qinghai.

During the trip the volunteers were divided into 35 "Dream Coach Teams." They held seminars and courses for about 4,000 teachers in rural areas across the country.

The campaign is one of several developed by the "Dream Center" project, which was launched by Shanghai Cherished Dream Charity Foundation.

The foundation was established in 2008 by a group of people with experience in management, law, finance and charity.

The "Dream Center" project contributes to providing computers, books, and multimedia interactive classrooms to rural schools in China.

"The aim of the project is to build 1,000 Dream Centers in five years," says Pan Jiangxue, founder and chairperson of the foundation's board.

Since 2008, 232 Dream Centers have been built across the country including in schools like Shanghai Zhijian Primary School, the No. 2 Middle School of Barkam County in Sichuan Province, as well as Special Education School and Wulongzhen Primary School in Cangxi County, Sichuan Province, the area hit by the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake in 2008. More than 295,000 students and 17,000 teachers have benefited from the "Dream Center" project.

Different from other charity projects, which usually only seek donations and purchase items for those less fortunate, Dream Centers do more.

"We are establishing a 'knowledge chain store' with the Dream Centers, and high-quality 'knowledge products' are flowing into the centers," Pan says. "We hope children can learn to respect knowledge and enjoy learning through these modern and dynamic environments."

Rang Na and Ge Sang-Chu are both grade-six students at Zhuo Ke Ji Central School in Barkam County in Sichuan. From Tibet Autonomous Region, the two girls were invited to take part in the Cherish Dream Expo Summer Camp last year as distinguished Dream Center students.

Zhuo Ke Ji is a boarding school with 187 students and 23 teachers. Most of the students are Tibetan. A Dream Center was established there early in 2008.

"Dream Center is more like a distribution channel for knowledge and new concepts," Pan says. "Without a wealth of new educational products, intellectual enlightening can not be achieved effectively."

In addition to a school-based curriculum, Dream Centers also offer a variety of organized activities to promote the joy of learning.

The activity Dream Editors has been launched in over 30 Dream Centers across the country. It gives students a chance to learn about the media, everything from publishing to reporting and editing.

"It's a wonderful experience for the students to learn about the editorial process and the spirit of team work while also developing their creativity," says Huang Ying, the teacher.

Dream Center

Zhuo Ke Ji's small "newsroom" was given a foundation award for its news feature story titled "Our Principal."

Rang and Ge, who worked on the story, were invited to Shanghai with other Dream Center students last year.

"The condition in our village is very poor," says Ge. "We don't have electricity in the evening, and it becomes very cold in early November."

It was the first time they left their village, and the highlight of the trip was seeing the sea.

"What a treasure for the children to realize their dream," Huang says.

Pan believes that one of the best ways for children to learn is through games. Dream Center teachers invite professionals to organize library games that are suitable for children.

Other projects and activities are also held including camping, painting competitions and exhibitions.

Pan says the foundation's principles are "Aid those who are willing to empower themselves, charities require cooperative management and promote non-sacrificial charity."

Based on the Dream Center system, the "Dream Leader" project has also been launched to train teachers.

The courses try to spark innovation, diversity and tolerance. Based on this curriculum, a series of professional training courses are developed to enrich the ideas of teachers from the rural area.

"Through this platform, we hope to continually introduce more educational products to the Dream Center Knowledge Franchise and to provide rural primary education with more content," Pan says.

With the help of Shanghai's East China Normal University's Course and Teaching Research Institute, Dream Center teachers are provided training.

At the end of September 2008 when roads were repaired between Wenchuan and Barkam, the foundation invited education experts to conduct the first Dream Leader teacher training program in Barkam.

"Between thoughts and results, there is action. We are working with a humble heart to achieve our dream," Pan says.

Address: 2/F, Bldg 3, No. 115, Lane 572, Bibo Rd, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong

Tel: 5027-0825

Check for more information.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend