KKOOM has been funding a “Student of the Month” program since 2020 where the children’s home created a sticker reward system to encourage the children to complete household chores or do their best in school to receive good grades. The children are each awarded stickers for reaching certain milestones. The child who receives the most stickers from each home earns a gift.
This year, we revamped this “Student of the Month” model to create more experiences for the children off-site from the children’s home. This idea came about after understanding the hardships that the children went through from 2020 to 2022 when they were on lockdown for Covid. The children were not allowed to leave the children’s homes premises unless for school or emergency reasons.
Throughout the year, the nominated students of the month experienced many different activities from visiting a strawberry farm to seeing animals at the zoo, enjoying shabu shabu, and attending local amusement parks. Seven students are nominated by their house mothers (there are seven different houses at the children’s home) on a monthly basis to be selected for these off-site excursions. This is what some of the house mothers had to say about the nominated students:
- “His closet and desk are organized well.”
- “He plays with his friends well.”
- “You can often find him trying to follow the house rules, from not doing too much game time, to not swearing, to taking his medicine.”
- “She is looking out for the younger children and making sure they have enough snacks in between the meals.”
- “He organizes the shoes well at the entrance of the apartment.”
- “If the younger children need something, she is always looking out for them.”
It costs 210,000 won ($160) for the students and chaperones to enjoy the monthly activities and it costs 2,520,000 ($1900) to fund the student of the month program for one year. For KKOOM, the cost is low, but the impact is greater. When people believe in our capabilities, it motivates us to do more and builds our self-confidence. Promoting good behavior through this program helps the children find strength in who they are, from their character to their values.
Grace resides in Georgia and first volunteered with KKOOM in 2015 when she was a Fulbright English Teacher in Sejong. After volunteering at the Samsungwon Christmas party, she became a Board member in 2016, the Chief Administrator in 2017, and the organization’s first Executive Director in 2020. While at Georgia State University, she obtained a Public Policy degree, with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership. As the Executive Director, she oversees all social media marketing, manages donor relations, email communications, and supervises our KKOOM interns and executive assistant. You can read more about Grace here.