Hong Kong is one of the most unequal cities in the world.
There are 230,000 underprivileged children in Hong Kong, one in four of our children live below the poverty line. There are 92,200 families living in subdivided flats in Hong Kong as of the end of 2021.
Children living in subdivided flats are at an intersection of disadvantages. These children have insufficient home learning support, little to none English exposure outside the classroom. They are deprived of a quiet and private space to study and often even lack tables to study on.
At school, English teachers lack the time, resources, and training to help their students whose learning has been stunted by their living situation.
As a result, by the time they enter Primary 1, children living in subdivided flats are substantially behind their peers academically, while still being expected to learn “standardised” English materials far beyond their level, yet having little to no support to help them catch up.
This is a recipe for failure. It exponentially increases the inequality gap among children, whereupon relatively advantaged/privileged children keep improving, while disadvantaged children keep falling behind.
The Story Seeds Project
We believe underserved children equally deserve the right to premium English reading programmes. Access to well-trained teachers and top-quality, tailored curriculum that meets this group’s needs are essential to help this group reach the starting line.
The Story Seeds Project is a minimum 30-hour weekly programmes which targets essential and foundational elements in English language learning for kindergarten students from underserved communities.
The programme is broken down into 5 elements we believe best address the needs of our students and will be required of them for primary school:
- Alphabet Recognition
- Vocabulary Acquisition
- Sight word Acquisition
- Point-and-Read Reading Skill
- Phonemic Awareness
In the 2022-2023 academic year, we partnered with two organizations that closely support families in need of social welfare or residing in subdivided flats. During this period, our Story Seeds programme welcomed a total of twentyfour kindergarten students, with fifteen students referred by the Society for Community Organization (SoCO) and nine students from Yan Oi Tong Pang Hung Cheung Kindergarten (YOT). Notably, all these students came from low socioeconomic backgrounds and had limited prior exposure to the English language.
Overall, the students demonstrated significant improvement that surpassed our expectations, both academically and in terms of their socioemotional growth.