December was a month full of caring and gratitude in which BIBS held its first ever Christmas Charity Bazaar and one in which we enjoyed some peaceful and relaxing holiday time as well. BIBS Director John McBryde said the holidays are a time to express our appreciation to people around us – the perfect time to demonstrate care for others. Each month, as part of the IB Programme at BIBS, we continue to showcase an attribute of the IB Learner Profile. For December, the Learner Profile attribute was CARING: we show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
IB Learner Profile Exploration Series – Fourth Session: Caring
BIBS has a tradition of caring and service for others. This winter, our Upper East Side campus is continuing its “Giving Tree” tradition – a tradition which began last year when heart-shaped tags were used to decorate a tree in the lobby area. Each tag has a name, age, height and shoe size of a student at the Migrant Workers School. Students and parents are invited to select a tag and buy new winter clothing for this child, to wrap the gift, and place it under the tree with the tag attached. All presents are then given to students at the Migrant Workers School prior to Spring Festival.
On December 13, the BIBS Community gathered at the Shunyi campus to celebrate our first ever Christmas Charity Bazaar. As it was for charity, the theme of this event was ‘caring’ in tandem with the IB learner Profile Exploration Series in December. Proceeds from the bazaar will be given to the Zhao Jia Ying Nursing Home for the Elderly in Shunyi and the New Hope Foundation. Enrique Eddy, BIBS Public Relations Manager, said he personally feels “very happy and proud to be able to organize events like this and then going with our students to socialize, sing, laugh and play with these wonderful folks.” Mr. Eddy went on to say the “Weeks and weeks in planning our Bazaar really paid off when so many visitors enjoyed all activities and musical presentations, and the very best thing was the spirit and joy knowing that we will be able to show our love to our friends at the Living Center. ”
Besides these traditional caring and service events, BIBS also organized a series of activities this past semester to raise student awareness and practice how to be a person of caring. During “Movember,” students and teachers directed their attention to vulnerable groups (diverging from the month’s original focus on men’s health). In a relaxed and fun atmosphere, students were encouraged to think about others and donated hundreds of toys and books to charity. December 1 and 3 were World AIDS Day and World Disability Day respectively, and our teachers helped students to raise awareness and show their care for those disadvantaged groups through presentations, speeches, wearing red ribbons and simulating specific disabilities in specially prepared lessons. Terry Qian, BIBS Associate Director, hopes that with teacher direction, BIBS students will become more and more understanding, tolerant and caring towards disadvantaged peoples.
CAS (Creativity, Action & Service), a key part of the IB Programme for Diploma Programme students, is a fantastic program which nurtures student caring as they choose meaningful and rewarding activities mutually beneficial to both their communities and themselves. Among a long list of potential activities, students can volunteer in assisted living centers or kindergartens or other social activities, all of which can help to promote their creativity, action and service. Along the way, they learn to care about others and to serve both their community and society in general. In one such action, CAS students designed and sold beautiful cards during the Twilight Exhibition last month, the profits of which went to the Migrant Children Foundation. Julie H., a G12 student, has been in CAS for more than fifteen months and has a thick CAS file filled with her reflections. Thinking about one CAS project, Julie said she was quite touched when she visited the Sullivan Rehabilitation Center and worked with deaf children, expressing that she wanted to contribute more to make their lives better.
In addition to care for our students, BIBS also cares deeply about the relationship between school and parents. With concerted effort from both sides, school and home have become a solid and united family. In addition to several Community building events this semester, BIBS also provided English classes for parents – a great opportunity for parents to improve their language skills, and started the BIBS Speakers Series, aiming to address needs of parents, share educational concepts and provide additional educational support.
Parents have been working hard too, have always been ready to care and support – willing to help whenever the school needs it. As the motto of BIBS PTA (Parent Teacher Association) parents goes, “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” Accordingly, parents have helped the school library label books and clear up shelves, the PTA choir helped the music department organize events and parents even helped Admissions introduce families to our school. Such caring has helped make BIBS a great community, a sort of family. I believe students who grow up in this kind of environment will become people full of caring, respect and support.
BIBS is committed not only to providing a great environment for our students, but more importantly aims to instill a sense of “caring” deep in the heart of each BIBS family member to ultimately help those around us and serve society. This tradition began with BIBS Founder and Chairperson Kathy Shi, a person of benevolence, who for many years has lead teachers and students to serve in the community, sending supplies and care to the elderly, donating for migrant children and caring about their lives and education. A traditional Chinese virtue reads: “Love our parents and others’ as well, love our children and others’ as well.” Caring, as one attribute of ten in the IB Learner Profile, shares this same spirit and matches perfectly with the BIBS motto: “Love, Care and Support.”