Spring Sprouts's main focus is on improving the quality of education for students in rural China. Every summer, during the month of July, Spring Sprouts takes a group of volunteers from around the world to a village in Henan, China to teach the kids there and surrounding villages English, Math, and Chinese. We understand how tiresome and unpractical the traditional methods of education are, and we hope to rekindle these students' love for learning through a holistic curriculum tailored to each student's needs.
"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world."
The First Seed:
Spring Sprouts started off as nothing more than a family tradition. In the summer of 2015, our father took us to the village in Henan where he grew up. Our great uncle, now the retired principal of the local elementary, had opened a summer enrichment program to help kids with their studies in his house, using both the yard and the living room as classrooms.
We saw this not only as a great opportunity to experience the rustic environment that our father grew up in but also a chance for us to introduce these students to life and education on the other side of the world. And with that, the earliest seeds to Spring Sprouts were planted.
As our team expanded year by year, so did our ability to award individual attention to students of all levels. What started as English class for rising 3rd to 5th graders quickly expanded to English, Math, and Chinese class for students of all grades.
Lectures about life:
Here at Spring Sprouts, we believe that education should not be viewed solely through the lens of the National College Entrance Exam or Gao Kao, which in almost all cases, is the single means by which students gauge their successes. In addition to just teaching the core subjects and techniques on how to effectively study, we constantly connect students to the world outside the village. Every volunteer that goes back to the village is given the opportunity to give a lecture to the students about their culture, experiences, passions, and values. Through these lectures, we hope to spread the overall message that being successful requires much more than simply a good score on a test.
Although Spring Sprouts only returns to the village for one month over the summer, our team continues to work and improve on what we teach throughout the rest of the year. As our greatest focus remains on teaching English, we've spent the past few years developing vocabulary and grammar curriculums such that we can ensure that the students retain the most information in the small length of time that we are with them.
At Spring Sprouts, we believe that learning can come from anywhere and be about anything. Instead of stressing a teacher-student relationship, we make an effort to be friends with the children in the village both in and out of the classroom. Such not only distinguishes our classes from the lifeless ones that they experience throughout the year by establishing a more welcoming environment, but it also ensures that necessary communication occurs between all members of the class. The kids are more willing to ask questions whenever something doesn't make sense, and the teachers can better understand the various personalities that each student posses.
Although the facilities needed to create a proper learning environment can be minimalistic, it should not be uncomfortable. Over the years, with the help of fundraising and generous donations, we have made major progress in improving both the classroom environment for students and the living environment for teachers. Click below to find out more!