Kids' summer camp activities in full swing

Yang Jian
Childcare and class programs support parents who can't get time off with their children.
Yang Jian
Kids' summer camp activities in full swing
Ti Gong

A girl proudly shows off her creation during an art session at the summer class held in Changfeng Subdistrict at Jinshajiang Road Elementary School.

Twenty-six childcare and education centers have been launched in Putuo District to meet the demands of local families to take care of their children during the summer vacation.

The Loving Summer Childcare Classes have opened at 10 schools at sub-districts and towns across Putuo. Each class enrolls 30 elementary students during the two-month holiday. Only basic costs are charged for the social welfare project.

It is part of Shanghai's annual public welfare programs to solve the common difficulty facing many local employees who cannot take care of their children during work hours over the summer holiday.

To benefit more students and families, this year's program stipulates that each student can apply to take part in only one class. Those absent for five days will become ineligible for next year's class.

As a highlight, a special class for children of medical workers has been opened in Shiquan Road Sub-district to reward doctors and nurses who have been dedicating their time to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and doing vaccinations. Medical personnel and volunteers who have taken part in COVID-19 prevention can enjoy priority.

Lessons offered at the day care centers include training sessions assigned by local governments and those purchased externally.

The city's education commission, for instance, has provided lessons to improve the morality, intelligence, physique, aesthetics and labor capacity of the children. The district's culture and tourism bureau, sports bureau, police authority and other government bodies have opened lessons on the history of the Communist Party of China, COVID-19 prevention knowledge, mental health, environmental protection, growth guidance and self-protection.

Language and art lessons have been purchased from various education organizations for the childcare centers. The Putuo schools are encouraged to offer relevant lessons at the centers.

Putuo has allocated its best elementary or middle schools to be used as sites for the day care services. The best teachers at the schools have been invited to give lessons and manage the students.

Shanghai Tongchuan School, which is famous for its special classes on traditional Chinese medicine and herbs, has offered training sessions on how to recognize various herbs and make TCM sachet bags.

At the childcare class at Zhenru Town Subdistrict, children are guided to explore TCM culture with volunteers from local universities. Several common herbs are showcased in each class for students to smell and identify. Six children cooperate in a group to make TCM sachet bags that can repel mosquitoes, and help refresh or relieve summer heat.

Safety has been listed as a top agenda item for the childcare program, according to the district government.

Security guards will patrol around the campuses to ensure safety, while fire safety inspections have been done before the opening of each class, the district government said.

All the students, teachers and volunteers have been covered by accident insurance. The lunch meals are delivered by qualified and reliable suppliers.

Each student must undergo a temperature check and other COVID-19 prevention measures.

Safety measures

The Putuo Youth League Committee and Putuo District Education Bureau take charge of the childcare program along with other district government bodies. Leading district officials have visited and inspected the sites before the opening of classes.

The Party secretaries of each sub-district and town have been appointed as "commanders" for the centers under their jurisdiction. The headmasters of the schools serve as "patrollers" to support the commanders. The teachers in charge of the classes are "supervisors" to manage students and volunteers from local universities and middle schools.

Special funds have been allocated to prepare the sites, launch recruitment promotions and provide subsidies for volunteers as well as buy meals and insurances. Each class has prepared COVID-19 supplies such as masks, medicine boxes and forehead thermometers along with stationery.

Surveillance cameras are installed in each classroom for officials in charge to monitor operations, which will also be recorded for future inspection.

The basic functions of the program include childcare, homework assistance and knowledge expansion. The program includes an opening and closing ceremony, compulsory lessons and optional courses, according to the organizers.

Parents only need to send their children to the site and pick them up at the end of lessons every day. A delivery card and electronic certificate have been designed to ensure the safety of children.

Middle school students or people with higher education backgrounds can apply to be volunteers. They must work for at least five days at the day care sites. A certificate will be granted after the end of their service. The volunteer experience will be recorded in the evaluation system of the middle school students.

A special lesson about the Party's history from East China Normal University is the first lesson for each day care site. The city's health commission has invited young doctors and nurses to offer mental and physical health guidance to students. Over 20 social organizations will also provide over 2,000 hours of public welfare lessons.

Putuo government will extend the childcare services after the beginning of the new semester. All schools must offer at least two hours of after-school services for students in need. The service will be provided between 3:30pm and 4:30pm or 4:30pm and 6pm to meet the demands of parents with busy work schedules.

Teachers are required to launch art, science or labor classes, social and club activities or assist with homework. They cannot open additional classes during the after-school care period to avoid increasing the burden on students.

Putuo schools will open their libraries, gymnasiums and labs to the students during the summer vacation. Various campus activities will be promoted through the official WeChat of the schools to encourage students to participate.

Citywide, there are a total of 543 childcare spots available across local sub-districts and towns. All local primary school students are eligible to be enrolled. Parents can check the locations and information through the Suishenban app, a comprehensive public service platform of the city.

Caoyang Subdistrict

The childcare center for the Caoyang community, known as China's first workers' community, has been set up at the School Attached to Shanghai Caoyang No. 2 High School.

The school has launched an overhaul ahead of classes to install anti-collision protection on the corners of desks and chairs.

Nurses from the community medical center provide temperature checks each morning for student. The community has also invited the best qualified company to cook meals for students.

Special classes have been opened to mark the centenary of the Communist Party of China and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the community this year. A "Childish Class" and "Cao Young Class" have been opened for children of different ages and interests.

Apart from the classes, the community has also invited volunteers from local universities and middle schools to provide guidance support for students to finish their homework.

The Caoyang community, covering some 2 square kilometers, sprung up in September 1951 as a home for model workers, a forerunner to other workers' communities built nationwide to accommodate a growing workforce during a period of rapid industrialization.

As the first "new community" in Shanghai that opened up to the outside world, it has welcomed more than 300,000 people from over 150 countries and regions. High-ranking visitors include former US President Richard Nixon and other national leaders.

Caoyang Road subdistrict has established a foreign affairs office to be in charge of receiving foreign guests. A community museum has also been established to showcase the history of the community.

Yichuan Subdistrict

Luochuan School in Yichuan Subdistrict has opened four classes this year to serve a total of 1,095 students. Nearly 500 college and middle school students have been enrolled to serve as volunteers.

The first session runs Monday and Friday between July 5 and 23, while the second one will run from July 26 through August 13.

A training session has been held for head teachers, volunteers and organization staff. The parents of students were invited to a briefing meeting about class schedules and arrangements.

As a highlight, many popular classes at the Youth Palace have been brought to the day care program to make it more attractive to students, according to officials.

Wanli Subdistrict

Wanli has arranged a group of experienced teachers and officials from leading schools in the area to take care of students in the childcare project. Five volunteers have been appointed to manage registration, health checks, coronavirus prevention and emergency response.

Urban management officials have also been invited to ensure the safety of the students along with police officers and security guards.

Special classes have been arranged, including on safety, health, traditional cultures, environmental protection and scientific inspiration and promotion. The history of the CPC has been involved into the classes. The sub-district says it aims to offer a happy, rich and unforgettable summer vacation experience.

Taopu Town

Taopu Town has opened its day care classes at Lianjian Elementary School. The student quota was filled a half-day after the township government opened the application hotline on June 27. Over 110 parents attended a briefing meeting at the school on July 1.

Special lessons from the town include self-protection, coin knowledge, architecture and game editing. An experienced head teacher was assigned to oversee each class along with two middle school volunteers and five volunteers from local colleges.

Volunteers and staff will conduct temperature checks, hand disinfection and another round of health checks for each student before they enter classrooms.

Volunteers will disinfect desks and chairs every day with an ultraviolet disinfectant lamp to ensure the safety of students amid the pandemic.

Changzheng Town

The town is famous for its large swathe of software companies and employees. Most of them barely have time to take care of their children due to tight work schedules, especially during the summer vacation.

The township government has launched a day care project and aims to ensure satisfaction rates among both the students and parents reach 95 percent.

"Safety, happiness and progress are the three key targets of projects in the town," said a government official. Preparation, logistics support, service, security and lessons have been upgraded this year.

Many programmers at Universal Software Park, developed by Putuo government in 2004, are expected to benefit from the program.

There are now almost 1,000 companies in animation and gaming, financial technology, Internet film, intelligent manufacturing and big data based in the park, including 10 listed enterprises.

It has nine sites with a total office space of 300,000 square meters and has generated tax revenues of 1.6 billion yuan (US$228 million) with over 20,000 employees.

Changfeng Subdistrict

The childcare program of Changfeng has opened at the Jinshajiang Road Elementary School, featuring lessons on artificial intelligence, oceanology and astronomy.

Special lessons arranged by the subdistrict, which is famous for Changfeng Business Zone along Suzhou Creek, also cover food safety, aerodynamics, photography, mental health, calligraphy and introduction to Changfeng Ocean World.

Volunteers from local universities will teach paper-folding, movie appreciation, geology and AI classes. A head teacher and multiple volunteers will serve students in each class.

Changfeng Eco-Business District is among the first batch of modern service centers promoted by the city government. It has been designated as a demonstration zone for the transformation of Shanghai's old industrial area.

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