FCSN Family Support Gatherings Report - September 2017 - Present

Rena Gong

FCSN, or Friends of Children with Special Needs, is an organization that provides a support network for both children and adults within the Chinese American community.

        For the past two years, FCSN has participated in GLI’s annual talent show. Starting September 2017, GLI has started volunteering at FCSN’s family support gatherings. The project, led by Ashley Zhuang, has volunteers meeting every few weeks to spend time with FCSN members and to work with children with special needs.

        After a detailed training session, volunteers are paired with a child with whom they spend the next two hours participating in creative activities as they rotate through three classrooms. The small class sizes allow interactions between students, instructors, and volunteers to be personalized to each student’s needs, and the familiarity with which the instructors greet the students creates a warm and friendly learning environment for everyone.

        Each classroom boasts its own task, all of them hands-on and entertaining. In the arts and crafts room, volunteers work with students to make crafts such as paper airplanes and origami fortune tellers. In the dance room, students and volunteers alike learn dances like the Macarena and Hokey Pokey. In the drawing room, instructors teach students how to draw still life, animals, and even monsters. In the singing room, everybody has fun singing to popular children’s songs.
        All in all, the family support gathering is a unique experience for both the members of FCSN and GLI. It is an opportunity for members of different communities to learn about each other, and hopefully, will foster an even closer relationship between them in the future.