West Valley College Society of Global Citizens
January 2019 Volunteer Work
Thirteen West Valley students who are members of the Society of Global Citizens and three faculty advisors sacrificed their vacation time to do volunteer work to help students and village families. While at our school, their efforts made a real impact on so many lives. Click on the following projects (the orange lettering) to find out more about their work:
Home & Land Surveys: they conducted demographic surveys of 12 selected family homes to determine which homes could best benefit from planting a vegetable garden and installing a water collection system. Installation of the water collection systems was funded by the Saratoga Rotary Club.
Family Homestead Gardens: they broke ground on family gardens in some really debilitating hot and humid conditions.
School & Monastery Gate Renovation: a team prepped the primed the entrance gate to the school and Buddhist monastery grounds
Curricula Software Installation and Laptop Training: Jacob Bryan, the VP of Society of Global Citizens, downloaded and installed software aligned with each teacher’s curriculum needs on new laptops that we donated to each teacher. David and Sofie Gmerek created a training manual that Jacob used to train the teachers on how to best use their new laptops.
Jacob felt that we needed a central software repository for educational software so he loaded a 5 TB external hard drive donated by the Gmerek family and 2TB backup he bought with a plethora of educational resources in both Khmer and English (e.g., Wikipedia in Khmer, all Khan Academy videos) and installed it in the library for student and teacher use.
Girl Empowerment and girls’ health lessons: All girls at our school received a pair of reusable maxi pads donated by the wonderful non-profit organizations Days for Girls and Too Little Children and soap and were trained on their care. Each girl also received a copy of UNICEF’s “Growth and Changes” booklet to share with her mother.
Ukulele and guitar lessons: A team downloaded ukulele lessons in Khmer and songs and taught students during their lunch.
Hands-on classes in Science, CPR and First Aid classes and Art classes. Hands-on experiential learning is not a part of traditional Cambodian education so it’s a a special treat for students.
Pre-school Education Curriculum: a team had great fun showing the 45 pre-school classmates donated TinkerToys (thanks Ken Colson) and building blocks. They also taught the kids some classic kids’ songs in English (e.g., “If You’re Happy” and “Head, shoulders, knees and toes…”)
Sports program: thanks to a wonderful donation once again from Bret Harte Middle School San Jose’s boys 6th and 7th grade basketball team of four solid core soccer balls (yes, run over them with a car; stab them with a knife and they’re still perfectly ok: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdRl5QwKeKY!!!), a team taught students how to play soccer. And, special thanks also to Athletic Director and volunteer vet Carrie Genise for helping make this happen!
Storytelling Project: The Storytelling Project team gave students the opportunity to create their own story by writing answers to questions about themselves and their families and sharing their story with the class.
Videography Project: Right now, Zac Hopp’s great work with an awesome video camera is being edited to make a documentary on the West Valley students’ wonderful experiences.
Candid Photos! (That’s our principal Mey Cheoun with his new laptop and our gardener in our demonstration garden…)
Ukulele Performance video! Beginner ukulele students play “You Are My Sunshine” for the school after three lessons. This is Doris’ unofficial theme song: her nickname was ‘Miss Sunshine” because she brightened a room just by walking in.
Stay tuned….we’re still editing content and selecting photos from West Valley’s amazing trip!