BREEZY CORNER ON A ROLL

Yahoo! We are at our third fruit sale. During preparation, we were surprised and happy with additional help from Chin Kang. We also discovered that he is very good at peeling and cutting fruits. He also taught Yung Han the finer art of slicing and cutting fruits. Our preparation for the day moved easily and smoothly. Wow!

The fruits for the day were guavas and rambutans. We hope to offer more variety of fruits.
By 12.30 pm, our pair of sales team, Jonathan and Iris had gone round to sell the fruits.
Today, we gathered some feedback and requests from our customers concerning the fruits and our service. Our sales team received requests for papaya, apples and oranges. Later, we had a round table discussions with teacher Ang Nei and my mother about the requests for other fruits. One particular request was to provide an “asam” seasoning for the fruits but the team agreed that we would rather sell the fruits in their original forms. Why add something alien to something so fresh and nice. Teacher Ang Nei discussed ways of answering questions posed by our customers.
We did not sell all our fruits but later Aunty Phoebe bought up the remaining fruits making our fruits a sold out hit again.
We would like to thank everyone for their good support and motivation.
Breezy Fruits are the best , forget the rest  !!
Prepared by
Chan Yi Hern
BREEZY CORNER TEAM

BREEZY CORNER – a student initiated enterprise

Breezy Corner took off on 31 July 2017. It had developed from a writing class presentation project where our teacher wanted us to think of something of value which we could add to Breakthru. We brainstormed various ideas, did a quick mini survey and agreed that something of value for the staff and student would be a fruit corner. Iris was tasked with designing the powerpoint with me as the writer of content and Yung Han together with Jonathan would speak during the presentation. Everything went well and the management supported our idea of having a fruit corner.

Our fruits of the day were crunchy guava and sweet juicy dragonfruits. All four of us took turns washing, peeling and cutting the fruits before neatly packing the fruits up for sale. To ensure freshness of the fruits, we included ice-cubes in the storing containers. Actually we had a few hiccups but managed to release our fruits on time.

Jonathan, Yung Han and Iris cheerfully took the fruits to the customers. Our fruits were all well received and sold out within the lunch hour! Hooray!

It was a good response for an initial start. Teachers, apprentices, parents and students enjoyed the fresh fruits and we had comments and suggestions to better our service and products.
It was an exciting experience for all of us. We were actually starting an enterprise and learning to make decisions and making some money. We are thankful to the teachers and management for their guidance and support. Also, I must thank my mother, for being with me and my fellow entrepreneurs in this project.
Our team will continue to improve on our services but as to our fruits, we serve the best.
Written by Chan Yi Hern for the BREEZY CORNER team.
The team is made up of :
Apprentices :
Yung Han, Jonathon, Iris and Yi Hern
Teacher :
Ang Nei
Assisted by:
Mŕs Chan
By invitation-
Nicholas

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BEST Café 2017 shop items sales and more!

This year’s 6th installation of Breakthru’s Best Café will be held on Saturday, 20th May 2017. Breakthru Enrichment Station (BEST) is easy to find. It is located on the second floor of Platinum Walk, a business enclave right beside Setapak Central. On that day, it will be hard to miss, just follow the music and the chatter of children and guests. Best Café is an entrepreneurship project by BEST children with special needs, aiming to raise funds to better equip the centre’s Kitchen. Another core objective of the initiative is to provide interactive learning opportunities for the children and teenagers with special needs or specific learning disorders. They will get to practise life skills like asking questions, inviting and leading people, taking orders and serving their customers. This exercise of supported active participation will help to build their confidence and develop better sense of self-esteem when they can carry out their tasks responsibly and independently. Last but not least, it also allows the children to have a glimpse of a working life.

What to expect:

Be prepared for a day chockful of food, activities, fun, games and parenting talks! You will be spoilt for choice as there is a wide variety of food, snacks and beverages prepared by our BEST children. To top it all, you will be treated as very important guests and experience the services of an excellent, extraordinary and enthusiastic team of waiters and waitresses who are just raring to make it your most enjoyable day!

Below are some of the tantalizing items that will be on the menu:

Chicken Pie

Homemade Cookies

Grilled Salmon

Spaghetti

Pumpkin Soup

Strawberry Panna Cotta

 

Once you have had your fill, you may want to enjoy a game or two. Both parent and child are welcome to participate. Be prepared to have your dexterity, fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination put to the test!  Among the games that we have prepared are a Hole-In-One (try to get the ball into the one of the 3 holes) and Flying Rings (throw the rings and aim it at the bottle).

There will also be a flea market for those looking for a good bargain. Brand new trendy handbags, clothes, shoes, accessories, and little trinkets will be among the many items that will be up for grabs. Here is a little sneak peek of the items that will be on sale.

 

And parents, we haven’t forgotten about you! There will be mini parenting talks throughout the day while your children enjoy themselves with the food, fun and games galore. Below is an itinerary of the talks to be held on the day.

Coupons are available for purchase online (bestcafe.b2.my) and on the day of the event. You may use the coupons to purchase food, beverages, and snacks; to participate in the games and,  to buy items at the flea market. Please feel free to contact us at 03- 4149 7977 for any additional inquiries or to make a contribution. Any and all forms of contributions are welcomed.  Proceeds of the event will go into upgrading the kitchen to increase training opportunities for the children and teenagers at the center.

 

Location:

Breakthru Enrichment Station

70-2, 2nd Floor, Block H,

Platinum Walk,

Taman Danau Kota, Setapak,

53300, Kuala Lumpur

Day and Date: Saturday, 20 May 201

Time: 10am to 3pm

Attending BEST Talent Time and Awards Day 2016

Dear Phoebe and Breakthru Team

As I was savouring BEST children’s tasty peanut butter, I was reminiscing about  the wonderful time I had at the 7th Annual Talent Time and Awards Day at TAR University College yesterday. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of your gala event, which I unfortunately missed last year.

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But in this one-year gap, I noticed a lot of impressive improvements in the quality of your show and also in your diamonds – of course, the children. All of them were a notch up in showmanship, as well as in confidence and enthusiasm. And, I must commend you and your team of teachers and choreographers for putting up a professional show, which had simple props yet showcased a  bigger pool of very talented, energetic, sprightly and spirited children and teenagers.

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From the patriotic flag bearers to the kids ‘Reaching for the Stars’, the boy wooing the ‘Uptown Girl’, the tap dancing group,’Bridge over Troubled Waters’ crooners, mother-son music rendition and the soul-searching ‘Journey’ team, just to name a few, everyone exuded so much live and energy. True to the theme of Rainbow Diamond II, every child was brilliant.

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In your speech, you mentioned that BEST has polished some diamonds and were in the process of polishing others as it takes more time with some ‘stones’.  Indeed, the polished diamonds shone through the morning with such brilliance. Ler Wen Suen, Brayden Loo, Jeremy Chu and Eddison Leong were so inspiring in narrating their achievements  in BEST.

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Wen Suen’s enthusiasm is infectious and I am sure she will not have any problems sailing through her  entry exams and settling down in school. Eddison says he has grown taller and that his voice is deeper, and I must add that he is very charming, too! His English is flawless, for which he credits Aunty Shanti. I could see he has a natural flair for public speaking. Jeremy claims that he is a tough diamond to polish but I believe the end-result would be a quality gem that will shine so vibrantly that others would want to follow in his footsteps, too. Brayden is the new kid on the BEST block as  he has been only a year with the centre but his potentials are shining through already.

Not to forget Rizal Arman, who  was very brave to go on stage and share his day’s activities at his training centre. Atta, young man.

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No doubt, every diamond is being shaped perfectly by the BEST team. In fact, some diamonds are success stories that will go down in BEST history – Elaine Lee, Bremen Alegrissamy and Darren Max are some brilliant examples.

I am already a fan of Darren, who came all the way from Kota Kinabalu and belted two songs. He had the audience tapping their feet and clapping as he wowed the ‘Uptown Girl’! He will go far, this talented boy! It was touching to see his mum beaming in pride as the audience cheered him on.

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And then, there is this lanky 16-year-old Bremen with his storytelling skills, inspired by Mickey. He is poised to be a master storyteller. I had a chat with his parents after the show and they were full of awe for their son, who has improved so much since joining BEST. And his mum says Bremen has a talent for writing, too. Well, Phoebe, here is one diamond for you to be shaped and nurtured into an Ernest Hemingway! I assured Bremen’s parents that their son is in the BEST hands of Phoebe! By the way, I did notice Bremen making headway with girls, too,  as he was busy taking selfies with them!

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Elaine was captivating in her emcee role, alongside your lovely daughter. They both did a fine job.

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The older children who expressed their dreams and wishes for the next 10 years in ‘The Journey’ stage performance were full of hope and aspiration. It is great that you went one step forward and made the children think about their future plans. They seem to understand that it is not impossible to be anything they want to be – be it a dancer, singer, pastor, robotics expert, musician or to have a lovely family  – if they continue to work hard and and to never give up. Brilliant!

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Heartiest congratulations to all the winners of BEST awards. I believe they won not because they beat others in the race to win the top medal but because they beat others in their personal race to be the  first to care, protect and nurture others, as well as to have the willpower and strength to change for the best. I believe those values are lasting and will be their guiding light for success. They are all truly Guardian Angels! I hope they will keep up the spirit of friendship, brotherhood and teamwork, and continue to do their best. I am sure the strong foundation that is being laid at BEST will shape them into the brightest diamonds ever in their life journey.

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In all, I enjoyed all the performances very much.  Apologies as I could not name all the performers but every one of them was professional and flawless. Most importantly, the children’s enthusiasm, sincerity and earnestness to do their best were reflected in every act. And, they certainly had a jolly good time!

Even  guest of honour Mr Victor Lee of Bandar Utama Rotary Club sat through the entire event and was seen thoroughly enjoying himself. Why, he even joined the children on stage for the ‘Reach for the Stars’ finale.We need more supportive community leaders like him.

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And thanks, Yu Chiet, for filling the intervals with lucky draws although I was not one of the lucky ones!

Phoebe, I can see that you and your team have lots of dreams to take BEST to greater heights. I hope your wish to provide professional training will be realised and Aunty Lian Ai’s dream of starting a baking training centre will come true. All the very best. I hope your first outreach programme with Little Sun Kiddyland Care Centre will be a role model for such future ventures.

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Kudos to all the BEST team for working so hard and enthusiastically to ‘cut, polish and shape’ your diamonds. Sometimes, like Phoebe says, you are hurt (literally!) in the process, but when you see the brilliant cuts after the painstaking effort, you know it is all worth it. And when you see the big smile on the parents and caregivers, I am sure you will come away feeling satisfied that you have done a wonderful job!

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So, see all of you next year in yet another vibrant event. Meanwhile, those of you who won Yu Chiet’s essential oils in the lucky draw, please have a happy and aromatic family time together. You deserve it!

Thanks.

Best regards and love,
Poongkody Palany

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Some Happenings at Breakthru

At Breakthru, we view academic studies as highly important but when it comes to dealing with children with special needs, we feel that learning other skills can sometimes be more beneficial to their growth. Children are encouraged to participate in game time daily as we feel that this opens them up to be more confident and open and harnesses their creativity skills as they would probably not get the chance to do it outside of the centre. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing some of the activities we do on a daily basis here at Breakthru. To start with, our first highlight is on rhythm and dance!

Dancing

Contemporary and Modern Dance

These will be for the high functioning teenagers. Teenagers are taught a short and simple choreography and they are then asked to learn and practice it. This encourages them to use their memory skills in remembering something that they enjoy doing in addition to their academic studies. The repetitive motions of choreography work also allow these children to refine their motor skills, which is beneficial to children who have problems with movement. As for the younger kids, they will be able to participate in weekly drama classes where they get to act, sing, dance and harness their talents in a fun and playful way under the careful eyes of our drama teacher. This also ties in with music play which is also done at the centre. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to music tend to have higher academic achievements.

Tap Dance

This is mainly done for the children to appreciate the rhythm involved. Children will be taught the same choreography over a period of time until they’re very comfortable in following the steps. These are mainly for the children who are unable to express themselves with words but are more comfortable with their body movements. This allows them to have fun and at the same time have their own personal expressions as they go along with the dance!

Stay tuned for the next installation of activities here at Breakthru!

 

Now… Presenting BEST Cafe 2016!

On May 14th, we had this year’s installation of BEST Café and needless to say, it was a great success. The objective of BEST Café is to provide a platform for the children and teenagers to learn life skills, be responsible with the task given, to cooperate with others such as parents or volunteers, gain their independence and learn problem solving skills. It is also part of our yearly entrepreneurship project. Each year, children are asked to do the same tasks and you can see the growth just a year can make. Children who had trouble with a certain task the previous year can now do it with much more ease and take up others’ tasks. Looking at these children grow and come into their own is fulfilling to no end.

This year, BEST Café officially began at 10 am. At around 9am am, the children showed up early to start the preparation for the day and to listen to any final briefings before the crowd arrived. The atmosphere was electric and charged with excitement as they got ready to welcome their family and friends and to show them what they have been busy preparing for so long. The kitchen was hustling with activity as they prepared and packed the meals that were being sold into boxes for easy transportation and the annex area outside was being set up with all the tables and activity for take away counters.

Tables were filled with delicious delicacies that have been prepared by the children, as well as set up with pre-loved items that the children can take home for a fraction of the price. We even had a very kind family, Daisy Poh and her family volunteer to set up an apple stand to help us out! 

At around 10am, the kids took up their respective roles and the crowd started arriving!

The delicious smell of food wafted around and took over everyone’s appetites and you could tell that they could not wait to dig in. Coupons were quickly purchased as everyone went to the stands to pick up their favourite meals! You could see the parents’ joy and happiness as they looked on at what their children have achieved here at BEST and are now able to do little tasks and chores that they previously could not do before.

Laughter was heard all around as children played with their friends and family member and the game stands set up were all enjoyed by everyone. After tummies were filled, the games stalls were full as everyone took their turn in trying to collect as many points as possible in order to exchange them in for mini gifts such as their favourite Lego set! Children raced from one stall to the next, fully entertaining the other students and facilitators that were in charge of manning the different stalls.

Elaine Lee, one of the graduates at BEST who now has completed her Diploma in Baking had a cake decoration demonstration at the event. Everyone looked on in awe as she expertly and beautifully decorated the cake with buttercream and fondant icing. At the age of only 17, she now makes and sells beautiful cakes for a living and the demand for the cake is rising each day! There was a renewed sense of hope as suddenly, all the parents wanted their children to learn how to bake and decorate cakes as well!

In yet another area, we had an artist who drew beautiful portraits of the attendees that day. He managed to capture the audiences’ facial features so perfectly in such a short amount of time. Some people are willing to wait as they wanted to bring home a personalized portrait of themselves.

In addition to all the fun and games, there were also short talks that were running throughout the day. These short talks held different information and ways in order to help parents and caregivers in how to better handle their children with special needs. They were short enough to capture the audience’s attention yet informational enough that they could bring home the added knowledge and start implementing it in their daily life. The coordinators and facilitators were on hand to answer any questions that people had on the talk as well as any other information they wanted to know.

Finally, at 2.30pm, the crowds dwindled down and only the children, families and staff members remained to do a final clean up before heading home. It was a meaningful and fulfilling day  indeed at BEST Café. Stay tuned for more of our events coming up!

 

Preparing for Best Cafe 2016

This Saturday, May 14th 2016, Breakthru Enrichment Station (BEST) will be having this year’s installation of BEST CAFÉ. BEST Café is held once a year to support our children and help them in achieving their different dreams and goals in life. It also helps to inspire and enlighten them as they are able to serve their family members and friend, thus gaining more confidence in their everyday life.

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Proceeds from this special entrepreneurship project will also help in raising funds to better equip the centre’s F&B Kitchen. This is where our children learn how to cook and be independent in the kitchen, a much needed skill for self-survival and independence.

What to expect on that day:

Come along with your stomachs empty and your hearts full! Be prepared to sample some of the delicious treats that the children have worked very hard to prepare for you! There will be plenty of fun and games as well around the area for you and your children to participate in. Some examples of the games available that day are Seafishing, a game where you have to try and hook the items in a large basin full of water and Rainbowling, where players will be asked to roll a ball to knock down all the pins!

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Friends, family and guests will also get to sample some culinary delights during that day! These are all lovingly prepared and cooked for you by the children and they will be your lovely waiters and waitresses for the day! Below are the food options available:

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1. Chicken Chop Set

Grilled marinated chicken with herbs, parsley, basil, olive oil and topped with mushroom sauce. Served together with vegetable salad, potato salad, mushroom soup and a Ribena Lemon.

2. Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken

Fragrance rice with fresh coconut milk, homemade sambal and rendang chicken.

3. Potato Salad

A healthy side dish that consists of potatoes, tuna, red onion and mayonnaise.

4. Chicken Pie

Savoury pie with chicken, egg, potato and mushroom filling. *this is a hot selling item and the chef’s favourite

5. Waffles with Strawberry Jam

All purpose flour, low fat UHT milk, corn oil, eggs and topped with Strawberry Jam.

6. Waffles with Peanut Butter Jam

All purpose flour, low fat UHT milk, corn oil, eggs and topped with Peanut Butter.

There will also be Ribena Lemon and Chilled Mineral Water for sale on the day.

In addition to all the awesome food and amazing games, there will also be very interesting free talks available throughout the day  and will be held in the music room at BEST. The schedule is as below:

1. 10.30 am – 10.50 am: P.L.A.Y策略简介”。  by David Mah (以中文分享)

2. 11.00 am – 11.20 am: Understanding Your Child’s Challenges by Christina Ho (conducted in English)

3. 11.30 am – 12.00 pm: Latest P.L.A.Y Strategies for Stress Management by Phoebe Long (conducted in English and Mandarin)

4. 12.10 pm – 12.30 pm: Doodle Doodle Play: A Window to Whole Brain Vision by Cheng Y.C. (conducted in English)

5. 12.40 pm to 1.00 pm: Switch On Your Brain With Simple Touch For Health (TFH) Technique by Chong W.M. (conducted in English)

6. 1.15 pm to 1.45 pm: Introduction to Essential Oils by Phoebe Long (conducted in English)

7. 2.00 pm to 2.20 pm: 您的孩子预备好去上学了吗? by Foo Wan Ching (以中文分享 .)

Last but certainly not least, we have also set up a flea market with amazing little gifts that you can buy for your kids.

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Coupons will be needed on the day in order to purchase the food and drinks available. Coupons will be available for sale on the day and the café will be opened from 10 am to 3 pm! We’ll be seeing you all there!

A Toast To All Of You!

Last week, we had our monthly toastmasters meeting at BEST. What is a toastmaster? In literal terms, it sounds like someone who is perhaps excellent at making toast for your daily breakfasts, which to be fair is an excellent skill to have! However, in this case, the definition of a toastmaster would be someone who is perhaps presenting a speech, delivering an impromptu talk or proposing a toast to a party. Toastmaster’s International is a non-profit organization that meets up worldwide in order to help members of the public improve on their public speaking skills and leadership qualities. It also helps to promote confidence and allows an open platform for everyone to stand on and make their voices heard.

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At BEST, we believe that every individual child has a voice just waiting to be heard. These kids have something to say but probably lack the confidence and the skills to stand up and say it. At least once a month, our Junior Toastmasters’ Meetings allow these children are given the opportunity to stand up in front of all their friends and deliver a speech made entirely by them. They’re also given the chance to hold responsibilities of being the time keeper as well as the ahh-counter (someone who counts repetitive words in a speech and the number of times “errrs” and “hmms” are used, which are unnecessary and distracting in public speeches). These responsibilities give these children a sense of importance that they are able to handle being in charge as well as ensure they are listening at all times to everyone in the room. Toastmasters’ meetings are run by the mother of one of our students who has generously spared time out of her busy schedule in order to help these children find their voice and their momentum.

Toastmasters’ meetings usually begin by the introduction of a quick topic of the day. As we had just finished our cooking competition that morning, naturally, the topic of the day will be what was still fresh in everyone’s mind: Cooking Competition! Children are then given a short period of time to quickly prepare their first speech and five volunteers were picked out of the group.  Once all the volunteers had delivered their speeches, feedback was given by the facilitator. Constructive criticism, points that were good and guidance on how to improve on grammatical errors and timing were given to each speaker and the speakers took it all in with an open mind.

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The second session was an impromptu story telling where everyone was once again asked to prepare a quick story of their choice. In this session, students are able to showcase their creativity skills in coming up with stories that captivate an audience on the spot. One of our students did not even get a speech prepared but still had the confidence to stand in front of an audience and delivered a great, impromptu story, making it up as he went along. The meeting ended with an official timing of how long their speeches were and how many repetitions were in each of their speeches.

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At the end of it, we all learned that in order for a good speech to be given, a speaker does need to have a quick preparation so that more focus can be given to the audience and eye contact should be maintained throughout the speech. It was encouraging when a student took the time to prepare a speech and for those who did not manage to do it, it gave them someone to look up to and perhaps push them in the right direction for future meetings.

 

Feeding Our Hearts and Our Soul

Each and every one of us have strengths and weaknesses. Whether in society we are deemed as “normal” or having “special needs”, we each have to face the world one day and come into our own independently. We understand that when these children have certain special needs, they don’t necessarily function the same or as fast as everyone else. However, we are adamant that every child has the capabilities to be self-sufficient and independent with the right training and tools given. We want to fully equip these children with the right network in order for them find their strengths and harness it. We believe that cooking and kitchen skills are an essential part of helping them grow and come to be independent in the long run.

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Every day, our kitchen prepares lunch for all the students and teachers in the centre and the kids are given a chance to help out in a surrounding that they might not be allowed into otherwise. From the cleaning of the floors and tables to the preparation of the food, each child is given a different role each day to find what they are able to do and what they are comfortable doing. Children with excellent motor skills are able to sit there preparing and cutting the vegetables and fruits while children with less of an attention span seem to enjoy cleaning up duties more. There are others still that actually enjoy the cooking experience and thus are able to help with the actual cooking and seasoning of the meals prepared.

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We have seen how kitchen time under proper supervision have helped enlighten these children to grow and come into their own. Just a year ago, some of these kids weren’t even able to wear the sanitary gloves before food preparation on their own. They were not able to understand certain responses in certain situations and would only do what they are told when they are told to do it. Fast forward to a year later and now they are slowly learning the appropriate responses in different situations and are made more aware of their surroundings. Kitchen time plays an integral role in this as it allows them to focus in a very “normal” surrounding and makes them tap into their innate nature of being a part of something bigger and holding responsibilities other than floor time or doodle-play with their friends.

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An inspiring success story is one of our graduates, Elaine who is now creating beautiful wedding cakes and is interning at a top bakery to further refine her skills! When Elaine first started coming to BEST in 2012, she would not bother with anything, had no attention span and was upset with life. She was frustrated with her homework, often tearing up her textbooks and had major behavioural issues. We noticed however, that she was comfortable being in the kitchen. Through gradual learning at our F&B Station special coaching, she started helping out more during kitchen time in day to day preparations and found that she had a talent for baking. Today, she has successfully enrolled and completed her Executive Diploma in Baking and Confectionary. This just goes to show that sometimes all these children need is a slight nudge in the right direction as well as given opportunities to further enhance them.

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We want these children to be a part of society, to be accepted and to prove to the world and to themselves that just because they are technically known as “special needs” does not mean they are unable to function in the world. They just need to be given a chance to do so and to be accepted that they too are a part of your world. We have heard many of our young adults’ parents expressing their sorrow or regret at not giving their special needs child more opportunities and experiences in life when they were younger. Now, as a young adult, many of these children are unable to function properly at day to day tasks. This further enhances our belief that hands on experiences and opportunities are needed to help them grow.

If there are any entrepreneurs in the F&B industry, home bakers or personal chefs reading this article, we would love for you to give our kids a chance in life. From cookie making, to food prep, to meal cooking down to clean up, these children are equipped to help you out given the right chance. We will be organizing a one day only BEST Café on the 14thof May 2016 from 10 am to 3 pm to raise funds to better equip our F&B Kitchen and to teach them entrepreneurship skills. Come on along to see how these children have learned to cook and to serve you personally. If you would like to know more about the event or how you can support these children in their dream of one day being successful and independent by giving them a chance at helping and integrating back into society, please contact BEST at +603 4149 7977 or send us an email at bestcentre@hotmail.com, or better still, buy our coupon online by clicking below:

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Cooking Competition at BEST

They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I say, that’s the way to anyone’s heart! Cooking is an art form, a relevant skill and a necessity in life. Here at BEST, we try to equip our students with cooking skills and to harness their creativity as well as give them the tools to be independent in life.

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To further enhance their interest in cooking, we had a cooking competition today at the centre! Students were involved with the preparation process from beginning to end, starting with preparing the work stations right up to cleaning it up when it ended. Parents were present to help judge the competition and to give moral support to their children. It was obvious that the kids were happy and even more active than usual with their parents present.

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The competition began with delegating the different jobs to different people. Older students began assembling the relevant tools and ingredients needed to bring it from the kitchen to the respective work stations. Once everything was assembled, the competition began! There was such an infectious buzz of excitement amongst the participants as well as the spectators but noise quickly died down the moment the competition began!

The first category had three competitors. The competitors were asked to cut up fruits and assemble them on a plate and they were judged based on their cutting skills and creativity in plating. It was such a thrill to see how fast and skillful the competitors were able to handle the knives and cut up the fruits so well! Their creativity really shined through as each and every competitor had a different flair in plating the fruits.

The second category were for the foundation basic students at BEST. These were the younger children and they were being tested on their comprehension and hand eye coordination skills. Participants were asked to assemble fruits on a stick following a sequence based on the first example given. The winner was judged based on proper completion of the task and how well they followed the sequence. It was such a cute sight watching these young children try their best to follow the sequence with minimal help. Most of the time, it ended with them being more interested in eating the fruits instead! It has been noted that an eating competition definitely needs to happen soon! The children seem to enjoy it BEST!

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The third category was to judge competitors on their cutting skills again as well as their assembling skills. Competitors were asked to make a pizza using cheese, mushrooms, tuna, tomato sauce and a burger bun. These were for the foundation advanced students and you could see full concentration on each of their faces as they worked hard to quickly cut up the mushrooms and cheese into bite sized pieces and assemble it as quickly as possible. It was very apparent during this category that when these children are given a task they’re interested in doing, they had full concentration on it and were very focused in doing the best job possible.

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The final competition was the one everyone had been waiting for: The Sushi Making Competition! The older students were participants in these and we had two groups of four in this competition, Team A and Team B. Teams were awarded marks based on their teamwork, creativity, design/plating and taste. The students showcased excellent teamwork skills as everyone participated equally and when a student had difficulty in their task, their teammate would take over and help them out with it. Team B showcased excellent organizational skills. The minute the competition began, they each knew their roles and waited for their turns in cutting, assembling, wrapping and plating the sushi rolls. They also tried rolling it in different ways. In the end though, there could only be one winner and Team A was the winner for this competition! Their sushi was delicious with the addition of tuna and it was rolled and presented in a neat manner.  Team A was obviously ecstatic at this and there were loud cheers for everyone when it ended.

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This competition brought out a lot of joy in both the parents and the children. Parents were able to see their kids grow and flourish here and the kids really enjoyed just spending a few hours in the morning with their parents. They shared that they all felt accomplished and independent during the competition, something that will be remembering for a long time to come! It was also a great way for the parents to see how their children’s life skills are brought out here at BEST. All in all, it was a successful competition indeed.

A Drama Filled Day at Breakthru!

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Drama is a great way of expressing one’s emotion, conveying messages and entertaining an audience. We realized children learn BEST when they’re allowed to speak their mind and act out their thoughts in a controlled environment with the guidance of our teachers. In drama, children are taught to express their emotions, act out scenes which makes them happy and come up with quick short one minute plays on their own.

In today’s lesson, they were first asked to take a slow walk on stage and strike a pose. It was lovely seeing the different characteristics of each individual child shine through! Some emulated models and played it cool, simply walking by and striking a pose, flicking their hair in a model-esque manner. Others let their enigmatic characteristics shine through by being police officers, boxers and kung-fu masters. There was also one student who had natural flexibility and talent in yoga, going straight into an upward-dog pose! She particularly shined again when during spontaneous acting time, she did a yoga stretch sequence on the spot!

The kids also showcased an innate feeling of knowing what makes people happy in the working world. One group in particular, when asked to talk about a happy idea, started discussing on getting promotions at job opportunities!

Drama class is also a great way for everyone to work together and learn to take instructions from the teachers. This is demonstrated by asking everyone to walk around slowly and in a proper manner. The kids who were able to follow these instructions well were then given a light tap on the shoulder and could then sit down and watch as their reward. Soon, all the kids quickly grasped the concept of it and not long after, we had a class of sitting happy students.

It was obvious that the kids truly enjoy drama class and once the added pent up energy was out of their system, they were able to sit down and start on their usual school work programs after.

Drama is enjoyed weekly here at BEST. Stay tuned for the next update of our Drama Filled Days!