About the Project
Half The Sky (HTS) Little Sisters Preschools Program (LSP) recruits experienced teachers to implement a progressive curriculum for children in China’s welfare institutions. The curriculum is a combination of methods drawn from the Italian Reggio Emilia Approach, preschool teacher training in the United States, and the Chinese national education guidelines. The program is designed to prepare children (aged 2½ to 7 years old) to succeed in Chinese community schools and help them attain the positive sense of self, so often missing in institutionalized children.
Teachers support children in exploring and investigating concepts through many avenues and media. Long-term projects are particularly valuable for the children. They provide a way for them to work cooperatively and weave together their experiences from one day to the next in a continuous fabric of meaning that lends coherence and stability to their lives. This is often transformative for children living in institutions, as all have been abandoned and a large percentage have special needs. Historically, children in China’s institutions were mainly girls whereas now, more and more children with special needs start filling the country’s orphanages.