By Helena Brecht
15.15pm may be last bell of the day for Green School students but 15.15pm is long before Green School closes its doors for the night.
Every afternoon, once the international students have left their classrooms, Balinese children come to Green School to partake in a program called Kul Kul Connection. The program is offered free and began as a way to strengthen ties with the community that surrounds the school. It was not long before it became one of the main support networks for the Green School Local Scholars, who are the Balinese families whose children have scholarships at the school. Eighteen months ago, Pak Soma, who teaches Indonesian at GS, introduced after school English lessons to the local community children. Over night the Kul Kul Connection classes were teaching to over 100 students.
Students are divided into classes suited for their level and age, and spend an hour with their English teacher, usually in groups of around ten. The classes are run by volunteers made up of teachers and dedicated parents and funded by Kul Kul connection donations and raised funds.
Bamboo News Magazine met three of them last Monday afternoon. They are in the beginners class and were very willing to introduce themselves to the Bamboo News community:
“My name is Indah. I am from —– . I am eleven year old. My hobby is rowing. My favourite food is hamburger. My favourite drink is lemon juice.”
“My name is Putri. I am eleven years old. I am from ———–. My favourite colour is purple. My favourite food is pizza. My favourite drink is pop ice.”
“My name is Eka. I am from ———–. My favourite food pizza. My favourite colour pink. Thank you.”
According to Tim Fijal, Green School Head of Admissions, and one of the key founders of Kul Kul Connection, says the program has become an important part of the culture at Green School.
“When when I first came to the school I understood that respecting the Balinese who live in and around the school was one of our main values. I wanted to see more of a connection between our international and surrounding communities, ” says Tim.
This connection has massive potential not only for the learning opportunities for them but our international kids and the adult members of our community, he says.
It is so gratifying to see the Balinese waiting to pick up their kids and expressing gratitude for allowing their children this opportunity.
It really is great to be offering something of value to the local community.
Emma Titley is one of the staff who work at GS’s student village and has become a key facilitator and teacher within the program.
“The kids are not only getting English lessons but are also being exposed to learning about sustainability,” she says.
“The Balinese kids are becoming real stewards of their own local environment, which they see being rapidly depleted by the development of their island.”
The good will works both ways too with locals teaching the international parents and teachers Bahasa Indonesia with the Race to 300 language exchange program.
Emma is also instrumental in raising funds to pay for teachers to take part in the Kul Kul Connection classes.
“It is a constant need but it is so rewarding getting to know the locals in this way, “she says.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer your services to the Kul Kul Connection.