Emily Du '20 Creates Online Teaching Tool for Chinese Elementary School
Born as her family’s third child during China’s one-child policy, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Xiaojing “Emily” Du ’20 is grateful for the opportunities she has – so much that when she stumbled upon some kids who had very little, she felt she had to at least try to better their lives.
During a family vacation near the Grand Shaolin Temple in China, Emily discovered the BiaoKuang Elementary School, located approximately 60 miles west of her home in Zhengzhou. It was clear the Grades 1-6 school lacked certain needs, such as proper supervision, care and academic structure. Emily decided to cut her vacation short and stay to volunteer at the understaffed school.
Since then, Emily has not only volunteered every summer, but also found ways to make a difference in the children’s day-to-day education. Specifically, she collected 1,200 books through donations, and built a website so educators could record and email academic-based online videos. The videos are shown on one of the school’s three projectors, which were purchased with money raised by Emily.
Emily on volunteering as a teacher: “I love them. Once you see all the children, you know they shouldn’t be in such a position. They deserve the same opportunity we have. They’re so positive and so happy. They don’t feel like they’re being treated badly and don’t have (enough) resources. They’re grateful, and they study really hard.”
Emily regarding teaching via online: “If more people could send me more videos, such as teaching basic Algebra or English or any other video, I could ask the principal to play the video.”
Emily on being a third child: “I was born in an illegal way. When I was born, I know all the resources and opportunities were limited. For all the opportunities I have, I have to give back to the community and the people around me.”
Emily on being a third child in China’s one-child policy: “Once I was delivered, they couldn’t do anything. But if I was discovered in my mom’s stomach, I wouldn’t have been allowed to be delivered.”
· Most of the students are raised by their grandparents because the parents live elsewhere in order to make money for the family.
· When Emily volunteers, she sleeps at the school.
· Emily recruited two of her friends to volunteer during the summers.
· The email address for the website is www.creativeprince.com.