November 30, 2010
By Kaytlena Stillman
UPenn China Care Club President
The UPenn China Care Club is in its second year, and I really wanted to get a local community service program up and running. At this year’s China Care Clubs Conference, I asked some of the other clubs for advice. They suggested that we contact our chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC) along with local adoption agencies. That was a HUGE help and in total we got positive responses from about 30 children.
Our first event took place mid-November in an auditorium in the Arch Building on Penn's campus, which was the perfect space. We ended up having to split our program into a Dumpling Group for children 3-8, and a Mentorship Group for children 9 and over.
The Dumplings Group designed their own name tags and the club members taught them some Thanksgiving and Fall-related words in Chinese. We then played a memory game with all the words that we learned. The older Mentorship Group played some fun "get-to-know-you" games with their mentors, and also learned about Confucius. They then learned how to make and design paper fortune cookies, and as the fortunes, they put slips of paper with Confucius quotes inside.
At the end of the program, all thirty children came together to color a big poster that had the UPenn China Care Club logo on it.
I believe our first community service event was a wonderful success, and we've gotten so much positive feedback from the parents. The club members all had a great time too! Planning this program with Hayley Hanafee, our Mentorship Chair, was very time-consuming, but it was so worth it! All our hard work definitely paid off. I'm so happy that I am able to take part in this great cause!