Korea Kids

For volunteers and allies of the Daejeon Salvation Army Children's Home


English Children's Books - Coming Soon!

Posted by Marissa on May 31, 2011 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, we did it!  We've used the grant money from KKOOM (plus a bit of our own) to buy the books.  Below, you can read the project report we wrote for KKOOM, which summarizes the brand-new English library project.

Daejeon Salvation Army Children's Home English Library - Report for KKOOM Funding

Each week, volunteers at the Daejeon Salvation Army Children’s Home choose a picture book to read to the elementary school-aged children. Before we start, we anticipate which English words may be unfamiliar to the children, and prepare a list of translations. When the reading volunteer comes to one of those words, another volunteer writes the English and Korean on the board, and we review that week’s words using games after reading is done.

This routine works well, especially because at present, we have no Korean-speaking volunteers. However, it’s an expensive and demanding routine to maintain, because it requires that volunteers continually purchase English-language children’s books – at prices much higher than they would be in America.

Fortunately, on April 15, we received 103,000 won from KKOOM for the purpose of buying quality English-language children’s picture books for the Daejeon Salvation Army Children’s Home. There are currently no English-language books at the Home, which means that the first time the children encounter English is very likely in school, where reading English is an academic pursuit and the children are evaluated on their abilities.

On May 30, we used the money from KKOOM and spent 121,210₩ on 11 new children’s books from What the Book, a store in Seoul with a good online selection of children’s books. We carefully considered our selection of books, choosing books with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar vocabulary, engaging illustrations, large print, status as classic American or English children’s literature, and binding that can withstand rough handling. We expect the books to be delivered to my office within 10 days.

After reading the books to the children, we leave the books at the orphanage. This will give the kids a chance to peruse the books during their free time, and we hope that the books we’ve read together – and by extension, other similar English books –will seem friendly, rather than intimidating and academic.

We recently received several emails from teachers new to Daejeon who are interested in volunteering. Thanks to KKOOM’s assistance with the English library, these new volunteers will have the materials necessary to quickly and effectively take over when the current volunteers leave this summer.

The eleven books donated by KKOOM are the seeds for a larger English library; after we secured funding from KKOOM, volunteer JJ Silverstein and his family donated several of his own childhood books as well as used books from America, and an acclaimed children’s author has agreed to donate copies of her books to the budding library as well.


There you have it!  I can't wait to post pictures of the books in action ;)

Big English Library Donation

Posted by Marissa on May 21, 2011 at 1:07 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanks so much to our volunteer JJ's dad, Allen, who donated over 40 secondhand children's books to the Daejeon Salvation Army Children's Home.  JJ came back from a brief trip to the states with a suitcase filled with books for the kids, and we can't wait to start reading with them this week!  First up will be a favorite of ours from childhood:  Babar!

English Children's Books

Posted by Marissa on April 24, 2011 at 12:58 AM Comments comments (0)

We've just received a $100 grant from our friends at KKOOM, the Korean Kids & Orphanage Outreach Mission, to buy English-language children's picture books for our kids at the Home.  We are so, so excited, because each week we read an English book with the kids, but English-language children's books are more expensive and more difficult to find here.  We're grateful to KKOOM for the grant, and we're already looking through What the Book's website to see what classic titles we can share with the kids.  So far, we're definitely feeling "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," "Where the Wild Things Are," and plenty of Dr. Seuss!