|Organization||Heartedu Youth Development Center, Pudong New District, Shanghai|
The 2016 “Linkids Initiative”:Wuxie Rural Kindergarten Free Game Project, Hubei, implemented by? the Heartedu Youth Development Center, Pudong New District, Shanghai (Heartedu)in 20 rural public kindergartens in Meichuan town and Huaqiao town in Wuxie city, Hubei Province, aims to promote the rural children’s development in psychological and social aspects by providing them with sufficient free game environment and encouraging them to more actively and creatively participate in the free game activities.
Free game refers to a kind of game activity in which the adults encourage and support children to choose their game contents, game materials and game pals independently according to their own interests, needs and experience level by creating the game conditions fit for the local contexts, providing rich and easy-to-alter game materials and guaranteeing sufficient game time.During the process of free game, children involved will acquire positive emotional experience, their active learning and exploration abilities will be enhanced and the communication and coordination among the children will take into shape naturally.
The 20 project kindergartens are located in the remote areas. Due to the limitations of space, under-staffing, poor facilities, and excessive safety concerns, there is no guarantee in providing the time and content of free game for children, or children can only play their own way with no restraint, or their play and activities are organized and guided by the adults. The lack of free game results in the children being placed in a passive game condition, their own choices and explorations limited, and their long-term abilities and personality development weakened. With the 4+N model, namely a workshop, a game material package, a work guidance book, and a one-day game experiencing activity, plus multiple rounds of revisits,tutoring and online Q&A sessions, the project will help the 20 project kindergartens to achieve the following objectives:1)children in the project kindergartens have two classes’ time of free game per week; 2)80% of the teachers involved in the project understand and agree on the concept of free game and can organize and carry out the free game activities;3)20% of the teachers involved in the project can observe the children’s behaviors and offer appropriate guidance for the children.
The Macao Tongchai Charity Association provides funding for the workshops, making of the game material package, development of the work guidance book, the organizing of the game experiencing day activities, the revisits by the project team members and their learning.The Macao Tongchai Charity Association also supports Heartedu to help local kindergartens introduce the excellent curricula such as “reading by listening” and “action-style children’s songs”developed by the Thousand Trees.