Foundation’s Initiatives
Every year, the Foundation organizes special events to share and promote the knowledge and experiences that the Foundation has amassed in the areas of reading and philanthropy and to respond to societal needs. The Foundation initiates special support programs including training courses, conferences, promotion of publications and funding initiatives, in order to contribute to industry development.
Hefei Stone Soup Open Day
Training Seminar
Collective Impact Hong Kong
Hefei Stone Soup
Happy Reading Alliance Open Day
 
From 17 to 19 October 2016, the Foundation organized the Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance Open Day in Hefei. Many schools within the Alliance opened their doors to showcase their reading environment and culture, and how they develop the school libraries into resource centers. The activity attracted over 120 participants, including staff from the Education Bureau, principals, subject teachers and charitable organizations.

The three-day program comprised of school visits on the first two days and a forum on the final day. The 12 participating Alliance schools included a mix of urban schools, suburban schools and migrant children schools, all of which demonstrated their distinctive approaches to the promotion of reading. Each school visit included a guided tour of the school and a visit to the school library; sharing about various types of reading promotion done at the school; demonstration of special reading activities; and observation of a reading class, library class, or subject class which incorporated reading.

The forum, with “How to Embed Reading into School Culture” as its theme, was attended by leaders from the Education Bureau, representatives of Foundations from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China, high school teachers, scholars and academics, and principals of Alliance schools.

Chen Gang, Principal of Hefei Tunxilu Primary School delivered a keynote speech on “To Change or Not to Change: The Principal’s Perspective”, describing what has changed or remained due to reading over the past decade. The changes are on how school reading culture is defined and how schools are managed. Ten years ago, there was no consensus on the importance of reading; today, schools are working hard towards building “a school within the library”. What remains unchanged after ten years is the belief in happy and shared reading. The Foundation also looked back at its collaboration with Hefei over the past decade, which went through four phases: from donating good books and creating an overall reading environment, to developing school libraries and providing support for students to learn. The journey has been anything but smooth; but more and more people have joined in along the way.

Other guests invited to speak at the forum included: Mr. Leung Wai-ming, Chairman of Reading Dreams Foundation, who gave a talk on “Reading Dreams: The Experience in Hunan”; Professor Chen Chaochen, Head of Academic Affairs at the National Taiwan Normal University, who spoke about “Policies and Achievements in the Promotion of Reading among Schools in Taiwan”; and Ms. Hu Dongmei, Principal of Hefei Wanghu Primary School, who introduced the “Complete Reading Course Based on the Utilization of Library Collections” at her school.

Three days might not be sufficient to share all of the Alliance’s experience and development in reading promotion, but we hope that the Open Day showcased the strong belief in reading which is shared by all members of the Alliance including principals, teachers, parent volunteers and students, and which has taken root in every corner of the campus and permeated the school culture. As Mr. James Chen, Chairman of the Foundation, pointed out in his opening speech, “During these few days, what impressed me the most is the great confidence and sense of pride shown by principals and teachers in having reading as the core of school education.” The Alliance holds unwavering faith in this reading journey and will continue to proceed, with stout confidence and sense of direction, towards its objectives.

For more information, please click: http://www.cysff.org/event_2016_oct.html

Three-day Reading & Library Development Training Seminar
 


In July 2016, the Foundation invited the Hefei Teacher Librarian Association (HFTLA) to jointly organize a 3-day course on school reading and library development. The course was formulated by the HFTLA, with the support of the Foundation and the professional guidance of Hong Kong Teacher Librarian Association and Taiwan Teacher Librarian Association. After three trial trainings and post-trial fine-tuning, the course was officially launched and students were recruited from across the country.

The course attracted a total of 50 principals and teachers from 12 regions. The speakers led discussions on four main topics: developing the reading culture at school; basic skills in school library planning, operation and management; library design and reading environment from the kids’ perspective; and how to organize reading activities in order to promote school library services and foster reading culture at school.

The students unanimously commented that the course content was relevant and practical, enabling them to apply what they learnt to their work. They benefited a lot from the course, particularly in their understanding of the teacher librarians’ role, library management and reading promotion. Some students also gave fair and useful feedback on ways to improve the course design, course structure and speakers’ explanations.

The course has become one of the core services of the HFTLA. In the future, we hope that the course can be promoted and launched in more districts and regions.

 
I consider conducting training more as an opportunity for me to learn and reflect. Having witnessed reading environment in varying stages and conditions, I have come to realize that the best education environment is one that suits the particular locality, and not just a particular standard. In fact, the thing that teachers are most keen to learn about during the trainings are how to make use of what they already have in their schools. In my view, one can learn from but cannot fully emulate successful experiences. Instead, it would be better to draw on the local teaching and public resources that are available, and adapt the successful model to fit those resources accordingly.
 

Ms. Huang Min, Hefei Teacher Librarian Association trainer
Experience Sharing by the Foundation
 
In 2016, the Foundation published a number of case studies to share our experience and reflections since our establishment in 2003 – what we did in the past, what we learnt, and how we could do better. This includes the Foundation’s charitable causes, educational objectives, and the path we went about to resolve social problems and achieve goals.

Particularly worth mentioning is the publication of “A Pictorial Guide: Creating an Attractive Reading Environment”, an illustrated manual prepared by the Foundation based on our 10-year experience in implementing the flagship reading project in Hefei. Based on the perspective of creating an overall school reading culture and relying on the concept of free voluntary reading as the theoretical foundation, the manual covers the four aspects of reading concept, building a school reading culture, practical approach, and the importance of professional knowledge. The Pictorial Guide places particular emphasis on guidance by professional theories - the first chapter explains in detail the concept of "free voluntary reading" and the ways it is manifested in schools. Additionally, all the photos were taken at Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance schools to demonstrate how these concepts are applied in real life, combining words and pictures to showcase diverse and innovative ways of promoting reading at schools.



The above information can be downloaded by clicking there. Through experience sharing, we sincerely hope that we can begin to provide some support in your journey towards charity and promoting reading among children, so that we can join forces to create a fairer and better society! If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact us!
Collective Impact Hong Kong
 
Inspired by the success of the US initiative Strive Together (strivetogether.org), Credit Suisse introduced the collective impact concept to a group of Hong Kong funders working in the early childhood field. In May 2015, the Foundation was one of five funders that joined forces to form Collective Impact Hong Kong (CIHK). Other funders include:

  • Credit Suisse;
  • Peter Bennett Foundation;
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund);
  • Sprouts Foundation.

All parties agree on the following agenda:

Aim
To alleviate poverty through providing early childhood education and care services (“educare”) to children aged 0-6 years old from low-income families.

Objective
To create long-term, systemic change to improve economic mobility, social integration and strengthen the social fabric across Hong Kong.

Funding framework
A flexible funding framework that will allow other like-minded funders to join CIHK and support pilot programs which are aligned with their mandates.

Our work
2015
2016
Apr
May
Sep
Feb
Mar
Apr
Jun
Credit Suisse invited over 10 foundations to introduce the Collective Impact Model.
Five funders joined forces to form Collective Impact Hong Kong (CIHK).

CIHK members agreed on a common agenda to address poverty alleviation through early childhood educare. The group also entered the strategic planning phase and sought out experience organisations to provide support.
Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) was commissioned to conduct a landscape study and provide intervention recommendations.
Evaluating proposals from potential Project Aggregators
Ongoing stakeholder meetings for additional landscape evaluation
Appointed Pricewaterhouse Coopers HK (PwC HK) as the project aggregator of CIHK
 
 
Based on CIHK commissioned report by HKCSS that mapped out the current service gaps in the provision of educare to children from low-income families, we have identified two groups of beneficiaries from low-income Hong Kong families.

1. Special Education Needs (SEN)
2. Non-Chinese Speaking (NCS)

Of these two groups, CIHK selected NCS students as the priority target beneficiaries to address. CIHK has opportunistically positioned itself to leverage on the government’s recent policy focus to address social issues within the NCS community to provide holistic interventions to NCS families.

The first step was to learn more. CIHK met with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, academics, government bodies and funders to carry out additional landscape evaluation and knowledge sharing to understand where existing support and resources exist, to identify synergies and avoid duplications. As part of the collective model, the project aggregator role is key. After taking into careful consideration the numerous request for proposals received, PwC HK came onboard as CIHK’s project aggregator in June 2016.

A summary of the existing interventions available for children, parents and educators was deduced based on the various groups as part of our outreach process.

「汇志创效」
 
 
Reflection
Being a founding member of CIHK has been an enjoyable and at times onerous journey for the Foundation. One of the best parts is how all members worked closely through respectful and open communication, a shared agenda, and the determination to explore long-term and scalable social solutions.

The Foundation remains committed to CIHK as we see synergies between the collective model and the Foundation’s philosophy, namely:

Time & Perseverance
The Foundation’s willingness to invest with a long horizon of time and a high tolerance of risk to allow solutions to unfold to create long-term, systemic social changes                                                 
Domain Expertise
To achieve “depth over breadth”, the Foundation has over 13 years of experience in early childhood development, education enhancement and library development                                 
Collaboration
The Foundation seeks progressive partnerships with governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that share a common ambition and to share best practices

Finally, taking part in CIHK also provides us with the opportunity to collaborate more with Hong Kong’s philanthropic community. In doing this, we look forward to creating a more prosperous and tolerant society.