1
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
2

EVS

 

View our blog

Follow us on TwitterFollow us on FB
 

 

 

Sunrise English Club
The Sunrise English Club offers a variety of activities for both children and adults in order to enhance their English language skills. Knowledge of English, one of Malta's official languages, is of vital importance, because other subjects are taught and examined in English and improved English skills increase the chances of employment.


Launched in February 2006, the English Club aims to cultivate the joy and interest in learning by offering fun-based group activities like games, drama and song, alongside tuition in small groups to meet the students' individual needs. The programm is targeted at children from low-income families, who are not required to pay any fee for the service.

Psychological Support Services
Psychological Support Services offers counselling to women of the Cottonera area. Therapists are working on a voluntary basis and are available for individual support upon appointment. Furthermore the therapists offer sessions for groups, e.g. single mothers or those affected by substance abuse, in order to address their specific needs.

Arts & Crafts

In a normal school environment, with academic learning aleays given priority, as well as at home, with parents becoming busier and busier, children’s creativity and artistic expression is very rarely encouraged.
For this reason, the second programme that started in Centru Tbexbix was the Arts & Crafts Club. This is a favourite programme with the children, and we have found many cases of children who in academic learning are very indifferent, sometimes even to the point that their behaviour is described as anti-social, become motivated and concentrated. Some children who from as young as 6 years are already losing their self esteem because they are “behind” in learning, regain their confidence when they discover that their artistic talent is appreciated and applauded. Children who cannot stay put for 5 minutes in a “normal” lesson, given a paintbrush and some guidance, stay quietly painting, and do not want to go home until their artwork is finished!
There are no limits to what our volunteers plan in these sessions. Everyone’s imagination climbs to new heights. The children experiment with different media, from playdough to papier mache’ as well as using natural resources like sand, seeds and leaves. In the spirit of neohumanism and maximum utilisation we encourage recycling and re-use of cardboard, plastic, and other used material.
Renowned artists like Jason Lu and Michelle Borg were among those who volunteered their time, and EVS applicants with artistic and musical talents get a headstart in our volunteer selection process.
In 2010 we have also introduced music and drama as part of the Arts & Crafts programme, and depending on the talents and skills of our volunteers, these activities are integrated to suit different themes as well as to give more opportunities for the children to discover their potential.
Important to mention is the fact that Arts and Crafts, as well as music, drama and so-called non-academic subjects, are especially important for children with different learning difficulties,

Sport and Games

In 2008 we started the “games and sports” programme in Centru Tbexbix.

One aim of this programme focuses on the health aspect of sport. Although Centru Tbexbix is not suitable for outdoor sports, we take advantage of the school playground being rather close and our volunteers are regularly organising different outdoor sports for example ball games, catching games to improve coordination, stamina, reaction and sportsmanship. With different games our children learn how to behave as good sportspeople and through several movements they discover their body as well as their physical potential.

Learning how to deal with disappointment and success is an important benefit of this programme, as well as taking better care of their own body.
Indoor activities like yoga and gymnastics train the body and relax the mind. Dance sessions help the children learn how to move to music and feel the rhythm and in acrobatics they learn the importance of teamwork and keeping their balance.

This programme also includes the use of positive and educational board games and cooperative games to help strengthen the group feeling.

Reading Club

The Sunrise reading club was officially launched in November 2008. For quite some time a small number of children with learning difficulties had been attending an individual session of half an hour every week, apart from the sessions of group activities. Gradually this progamme was expanded to cater for more children who need help with reading and now reading club occupies three slots of half an hour each every week. Each child chooses a book and reads to the tutor who checks understanding and writes difficult words on flashcards which are taken home to practice.
During reading club time, all hands on deck -  Katherine and all volunteers take a child each for a one to one session, except when there are not enough volunteers to go around. The kids are very eager to read to their tutor. All of them are happy to explore the joys of reading, each choosing a space of his or her own, either in the garden, or sitting on a cushion in the yoga room, or wherever they feel most inspired.
Children are also encouraged to borrow books from our library to take home.

Athletics Nursery

From the beginning of 2009, a number of our children have been attending weekly athletic training sessions at Matthew Micallef St John Stadium in Marsa. The aim of this program was to introduce the various athletic disciplines and their components and to practice each event in its elementary form. According to our professional coach, Leandros Calleja, the 7 to 13 year age bracket is the Golden Age for learning different skills. Therefore, as with the main intentions of this athletics program, the more variety of skills employed the more skillful and coordinated these children get. In fact, most of the children that attend have shown an improvement in movement, coordination, posture and other basic skills. Some have also shown significant improvement in specific events, although this is not the main intention of this program.

Additionally, the children are developing a positive attitude towards running, jumping and throwing both individually and as a group. They are also learning to show respect for one another especially when one of them is leading the group as for example during stretching. Some of these new athletes are showing interest and in fact competed in organized athletic activities. The plan is to continue practicing through repetition with the goal of rectifying the skills obtained and to start taking part in the KIDS Athletics meetings and Aggregate meetings organized by the Malta Amateur Athletic Association. However, the latter will be an additional target but it will not replace our primary aim. Learning to run, jump and throw will still remain the main focus, at least until the children have achieved a skill level high enough to become competitive youth athletes.
The Athletics programme is sponsored by Woman2000 (http://www.gurukul.edu/gknetwork/Issue28/www.woman2000.net)

Summer Club

Summer Club was founded with the aim to provide Centru Tbexbix children with a valuable activity even during the summer-months. From the beginning of July until the end of August the children are at the centre from 9am until noon. The decision to have the children at the centre three hours every day sounded like a daring step to take before the first Summer Club started in 2008. After two years we can acknowledge that even though planning of the daily activities requires a lot of work Summer Club is an activity we don’t regret to have started. With our enthusiastic and ingenious foreign and local volunteers we manage to offer a number of different activities every day, for example dance-classes, language games, arts, crafts, drama, yoga and of course a lot of outdoor activities. The activities are always planned with the purpose to make the sessions as enjoyable to the children as possible, while at the same being educational and socially developing.
A main theme linked to Neohumanism is following the activities throughout Summer Club. In different summer clubs we focused on environmental awareness, caring for nature and doing service.
At the end of August all the parents are invited to the closure when they can see some of the things their children have learned during the past two months. It’s an evening full of singing, dancing, drama, acrobatics and other performances by the children, often connected with that year’s main theme.

Yoga Shoots

The yoga shoots venture had been in our mind for a long time. Considering that we cannot be a full-time school, we want to use all our resources to benefit as many children as possible. Previously our attention was focused on planning different after school activities for as many children as possible from Cottonera. Now the time had come to start a programme for children from other schools with the aim of introducing yoga for kids to both children and their teachers, as well as bringing children from all around Malta to Cospicua, thereby indirectly exposing the richness which Cospicua has to offer on different levels. 
The participation and feedback of primary and secondary schools is very encouraging.
The programme is planned to cater for a maximum of 25 children every time, accompanied by two teachers, and consists of one and half hours of yoga for kids, half an hour presentation about healthy food, half an hour creativity / co-operative games, and another half an hour for an intercultural presentation.
A lot of preparation goes into these sessions. Volunteers with previous experience in teaching yoga for kids contribute a lot to the success of the programme together with other volunteers whose interesting activities add variety in the programme as well as introduce the children to as many aspects of neohumanistic education as possible.
Short power-point presentations about different countries prepared by our EVS volunteers, introduce the participants to new cultures, and the children are keen to write messages to overseas children on handouts prepared for this purpose. By now various messages from Malta written by participants of our Yoga Shoots programme have been exchanged with messages sent by schoolchildren from Denmark, Germany and Turkey.
A short presentation about healthy eating introduces the children to a vegetarian meal consisting of their choice five different cooked or fresh vegetables on a bed of pasta or rice, with tomato sauce or bechamel. Fruit yogurt and cheese are also in the menu!

Before lunch, the children are asked whether they prefer to eat in a disposable plate or in a ceramic one. “If you choose a ceramic plate you will have to wash up after you eat, but if you choose a disposable plate you will be adding to the waste, which harms the environment.” All the children, without exception, choose to wash their own plate.

Other activities include computer courses, stress management skills and healthy living courses for women as well as seminars on vegetarian cookery and personal development. We are also introducing short basic courses in different languages, according to the nationality of our EVS volunteers. At Centru Tbexbix there is always scope for new activities according to the needs of the participants.