Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December is a time of giving and receiving for EAS

December is a time to give...
The Bancroft students had two projects in the spirit of giving this holiday season. In their own simple but creative ways, our students sacrificially showed their gratitude to our troops and joyfully shared their talents to the elderly.

"Tribute to our Troops" For almost a month the AALEAD students and staff hand sewed personalized pillows with Asian art and greetings to our injured troops at The Walter Reed Military Hospital. Students’ messages on their personalized pillows thanked the troops for their sacrifices for our country. Students also videotaped a performance of them singing Christmas carols for the troops

"Carols to the Elderly"– On December 19, 2008 before the winter break, students visited and sang Christmas carols at the Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home. It was such a great joy to see the smiles from the elderly people as they heard Christmas songs from our students. The project was also a good opportunity to teach students the value of respect for the elderly which is an important part of the Asian culture.

December is also a time to receive...
All our Elementary students received their Christmas wish during our AALEAD Holiday party last December 20, 2008. Santa with his elves (all AALEAD student volunteers) distributed the gifts to our Elementary students. We are grateful to our sponsors who served as the secret Santas for these kids.
The Thomson students also had an opportunity to participate in the OAPIA Toy distribution last December 16, 2008. 18 students gratefully received toys from the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Congratulations to Chut Vu, SSP Student

Our very own Chut Vu, has received the honor of becoming a Posse Scholar, receiving full tuition scholarship to University of Wisconsin- Madison, where he hopes to study business administration or engineering. Congratulations!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recognition of High School Student Hong Qian Zhu

On Saturday, December 12, 2008, our very own SSP student Hong Qian Zhu testified for DC Council Chairman Gray to address the effects of school suspension. From her extraordinary testimony, Chairman Gray extended to her the mission to work with her principal at Wilson High School to develop a more inclusive policy for Asian American youth. Go Hong Qian!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

AA LEAD in Washingtonian Magazine

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

Asian American LEAD was featured in the December issue of Washingtonian magazine as one of the DC area's 64 best charities!

*click the cover to read more*
Copyright © 2008 by The Washingtonian; used by permission.
Please visit Washingtonian online at:

Monday, December 08, 2008

Maryland After School Programs Holiday Party.

Maryland's High School and Middle School After School Programs will hold their annual Holiday Party this Friday, December 12th. Our celebration will be held at the Gilchrist Center in Wheaton, Maryland.

The purpose of the Holiday Celebration and Youth Event is to celebrate the holidays and display some of the work done by students in AA LEAD. There will be food, music and games, as well as displays by students who will be showing off their welcome wall at the Gilchrist Center. Everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to learn about AA LEAD and what our programs do to help serve the Asian American community. Parents, students and community members are all welcome to attend.

Maryland After School Programs Holiday Party

December 12th

4 to 7pm

Gilchrist Center For Cultural Diversity

11319 Elkin Street

Wheaton, MD 20902


Jonathan Henry

(301) 942-9333

Please RSVP or return your student's permission slip by December 11th, 2008.

November is "Caring" month for EAS Program

Students from Bancroft site started a series of creative learning about positive character. They prepared a short skit where they assigned director, actors and actresses among themselves. They are also the ones who plan and write the script for their short film. Friday is when they will show it to the whole group and will have short discussions what they learned from the activities. They also do crafts which will help them remember the positive character that they are studying…and of course they discuss how they can apply the character that they learned.

EAS students CARES about the Children’s health. Our students participated in the national art contest to promote children's health care organized by National Korean American Service Education Consortium Association. The theme of the contest is "America's Future starts with Healthy Children."

EAS students CARES about their community. On November 26, our Bancroft students went to the DC Fire Department station in 14th Street for a educational tour with our DC Fire Fighters. The students learned basic fire safety skills and had a short briefing of what is the typical daily life of a firefighter.

Monday, December 01, 2008

SSP-Staff Thanksgiving Gathering

On November 26, a day before Thanksgiving, the SSP youth were able to directly engage with the AA LEAD staff and volunteers. We had wonderful food with all the trimmings (including a turkey shaped cake) and were able to gather together and share in the wonderful holiday spirits. AA LEAD staff were kind enough to prepare food for the pot luck, including spiced basmati rice, stuffing, corn, Korean japche, buffalo wings, homemade empanadas, and more! We had old alummi return for the festivities and had volunteers at the event as well! It was a great experience! We hope to continue in this tradition next year! Gobble Gobble~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008 Walk for the Homeless

On Saturday, November 22nd 2008 AALEAD's Mentoring Program, Secondary School Program and MD High School Programs had a group of around 30 participate in the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon. Despite the cold weather, the group enjoyed walking the 5K for a good cause.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Monday, Nov 10, 2008 Student Testifies at Community Budget Hearing

Planning for FY10 Budget may look daunting with the massive budget cuts happening all around us. However, this was an opportunity for one of our high school students from Albert Einstein High School to speak on behalf of programs like AALEAD. At the Community Budget Hearing for DHHS, Farida was able to share about her personal experiences and why AALEAD is so meaningful for her.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 4, 2008 SSP Election Day

The Secondary School Program participated in a nationwide event hosted by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) to promote Asian American awareness to voting rights and concerns. We had 23 youth volunteers outside for half the day asking voters to fill out surveys, provide language services, and participate in the election day procedures. The youth realized the importance of their vote and how much Asian American voters are needed to adequately represent the population. The youth are to be applauded as it was raining in DC and they withstood the rain in the name of civic education.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

October 10-11, 2008 SSP Lock-In

With 35 youth and 4 staff, the Secondary School Program kicked off their school year programs with a lock-in at our home site at AA LEAD. With a breakdancing competition, movies, food, and bonding activities, SSP had a great time sleeping on all floors and for some, not sleeping at all. We even had a youth sleep in the Copy Room! At 6 am, a group of youth got up to go play basketball and conduct a mock-bball tourney. The girls were taken out for a midnight snack in Georgetown to get some quality time with the female staff while the boys were on site having a bonding moment sharing deep dark secrets of their young lives. We even had some of the old AA LEAD program alums come for a visit.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 29, 2008 AALEAD Halloween Party!

In the spirit of Halloween, our High School Students converted the AALEAD building into a Haunted House for the Elementary Students! 45 high school students and over 40 elementary students participated in the event.
Rosetta Lai (executive director), an AALEAD volunteer, and high school students pose for a scary picture!

Our elementary after-school program manager safely shepherded the students to and from our building to school in the AALEAD van.

Some of our elementary school costumes! Many princesses came to our Halloween Party!

Our youth enjoyed a variety of yummy cookies and cupcakes...They also participated in events like balloon painting!

The high school students set up different activity stations for the children inside the haunted house...One of our youth poses with an AALEAD staff member!

October 24, 2008 Community Service: Gilchrist Community Center

Mentors, mentees, and student volunteers gathered on a Friday afternoon to create a Welcome Wall at the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity!

Here is the wall they were tasked with decorating:

Thanks to donations from Home Depot, there were large styrofoam panels that students used as their base.
Each group was responsible for one of the letters in "W-e-l-c-o-m-e."

Students included flags, maps, and pictures to decorate the welcome wall. The word "Welcome" was also translated into various languages!

The last group was tasked with making the exclamation point, using AA LEAD's logo!

Slowly but surely, the pieces of the wall all came together as students carried their panels into the room.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kids4Kids Summer 2008

In the Summer of 2008, the elementary students started a pilot project which we hope to continue to educate our students about poor Asian countries and encourage them that they can make a difference.
The theme for the project was “At-risk Children Helping At-risk Youth in the Philippines.”

· Education: The project started by educating the students from the two sites about the urban poor children’s plight in the Philippines. The goal of this activity was to raise awareness among Asian-American youth of the realities of much poorer Asians in other parts of the world. On July 23 the Bancroft 1st-6th grade students (total of 20 of 25) attended a presentation about the urban poor children in the Philippines. The students were also given a chance to learn some basic Tagalog words (Philippine language) at this event.

· Fund Raising Initiative: On July 24, all the Bancroft students including the Pre-K and Kindergarten class participated in a Summer Festival. This event was dedicated to raising money for the children of the Philippines. Everyone (staff included) contributed by making different items to sell to raise money. Some of the items sold were pictures and picture frames, beaded jewelry, beaded pins in the shape of the Philippine flag, cotton candy, and snow cones. The pre-k and kindergarten classes provided many of the decorations including one mural done by Ms. Bui and Ms. Danielle’s class. The festival also included fun games and activities including a video presentation which gave the children the opportunity to see those whom they were helping and learning. The students and staff helped to raise almost $200 for the poor children of the Philippines.

· Letter Writing: All 69 students at Chinatown have made cards and corresponding through letters with youth in the Philippines on a weekly basis. The activity is intended to create friendship between Asian at-risk youth in America and Asia, and also to promote creative literacy activities.

Then we received a letter of thanks from the beneficiary!

Dawn for the Poor
Manila, Philippines
4th August 2008

To: AALEAD Team and Students

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you from Manila in the Philippines!
Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity.

We are going to use the money you raised for special classes that are being held in our small Waray Centre that we built in a poor area where families live close to a disused quarry just outside of the Manila.

Here many boys and girls run around in old clothes and bare feet and they live with their families in shacks made out of just scraps of wood, corrugated iron and old sacking. Some of these children do not go to school so we have a program to help them to learn to read and write. Some of our volunteers and young people teach them during the week.

We are so touched that you would be prepared to give in such a generous way to help these young boys and girls here to begin to have a good education. You have made a difference in the lives of these young people.

Thank you once again for what you have done!
God bless you all.

Patrick Hobbs
Patrick Hobbs
(International Advisor for Dawn for the Poor)