“Ayi” Appreciation Day
Sometimes it is easy to forget that lessons on giving can apply to our places of work and study. For one week in November, students at YCIS Shanghai Gubei Campus expressed their appreciation for the school “Ayi’s” who work around the clock to maintain a clean environment for faculty and students.
The week began with a bake sale, which raised money to buy gifts and dinner for the Ayi’s. Students then wrote messages of thanks with the help of Chinese teachers–the backbone of YCIS’ mandatory Chinese curriculum–and placed them on the table prior to the dinner held especially for the Ayi’s. “The Ayi’s really deserved this dinner because of all the hard work they put into cleaning the school. It was very touching, both for the students and the Ayi’s who attended,” says Year 13 student Shaun.
Charity activities at YCIS Shanghai, including the Ayi Appreciation Week, often begin as student initiatives, which results in greater participation. Mr. Luke Watson, Creativity, Action and Service Co-ordinator at YCIS Shanghai Gubei Campus, explains his approach, “I work with the students through the ideas and help make it happen. Because these are their ideas, they’ll spend extra time making posters and selling tickets to their friends. It’s good to empower them and watch their ideas take off.”
The students sat and talked to the Ayi’s during the dinner, and wrapped up the evening with desserts, cake and tea. Every Ayi was also presented with a parting gift bag perfect for winter: scarfs, hats and tea. When asked why the students came up with this appreciation week, Shaun said, “There are still many people who do not see all the things these hardworking people do. We hope this can become a tradition that will last for years.”
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