This new school year, CFI accepted 28 new students, from 5 to 14 years old, into its after school education program. Each of these students comes to CFI with different experiences, and deals with being in a new environment differently. Some of them fit right in, while others need time to adjust. However, CFI does not only run a school, but also provides crucial one on one tutoring and effective mentorships to ensure each child’s success, academically and emotionally. That means that this month, the education team was actively engaging with the new students in and out of the classroom.
Below are just a few of the stories.
Salin is a 13 year old grade 7 student. He studies at public school in the morning, then in the afternoon he comes to the CFI learning center for English and Computer classes. On his first day at CFI, Salin felt a bit scared. CFI staff are always available to help and support students, especially new students, to feel comfortable at CFI, and, noticing timidity in Salin’s behaviour, the staff decided to give him some extra attention. Teachers spent a few minutes between classes getting Salin to talk about himself, walking him between his classes, to make sure he knew the layout of the school, and organizing ice-breaker activities in his classes so he could get to know his classmates. Salin felt better and one week after enrolling at CFI was feeling excited and ready to learn. He said “My teachers and friends were very nice and helped me to feel comfortable by letting me play in the library and play football on the big field. I am so happy to play in library and play football with my friends.” This level of attentiveness from CFI’s staff is crucial to the success of each student and the program at large. Taking a big-picture view of a child’s education, the staff understands that confident and comfortable students will perform better in school and stick with their education for longer.
Sombath, who is 12-year old, is one of the new students enrolled in CFI this year. He is studying grade 6 at Somanous Primary School (public school). At CFI, Sombath is taking classes in English, Khmer, and Math. Sombath said that, “I felt a bit scared at first at CFI, but I went along from day to day with my teachers and friends, I started to feel more comfortable and happy to study.” Sombath continued, “I am enjoying studying at CFI school.” CFI staff serve as key mentors to ensure each student’s needs are met. By providing individual mentorship, students are able to build their confidence both in and out of the classroom.
Channaret’s is one of the youngest students at CFI school, but you would never know because of her confident attitude. At just 5-years-old she is brave enough to talk with teachers and staff. On her first day at CFI Channaret said, “I wasn’t nervous or scared, but I was happy to play in library and with my friends. I like my class and the library.” For a student like Channaret, who exudes confidence, CFI staff will support her to achieve at the highest possible level. With her emotional needs well attended to, Channaret’s biggest priority is education. Recognizing this, the CFI education team has started her on some of the beginning coursework in Khmer and Math, even though she hasn’t enrolled in public school yet. The staff will enroll her in public school soon.
CFI’s holistic approach means that each student to education means building confidence is as important as teaching the textbook, and CFI’s teachers make sure to give each new student the personal attention he or she needs to acclimate. Samith, CFI’s school manager, said that “I was so happy to have these new students and would love to welcome more students if possible.”
*Students’ names were changed according to child protection policy.