Breezy Corner Update

Hey ! We are back after a rather long break.

Today we have something different, FRUITS JELLY besides sweet pineapples and pears.
Hooray! Fruits jelly were sold out within a short time. Teacher Mandy bought 4 cups! Thanks for your great support. We didn’t make a lot as we were testing the market today.
Our team was down with bouts of flu and stomach problems. However, they were not so well, Iris, Jonathan and Yunģ Han kept up their good spìrits from the beginning of the production till the end.
Like the serious entrepreneurs they are, they took to their jobs and proceeded with the sale of the cut fruits and jelly. Later teacher Ang Nei and I went to the office and made some sales to Aunties Christina and Katherine.
We had a slow breezy sales today. The Jelly and pineapples were sold out except the poor juicy pear. Later, teacher Ang Nei decided to reward our team with the pears as a healthy treat.

We also had a short discussion pertaining to the purchasing of fruits for future sales. Yung Han, Jonathan and Iris felt they were not ready for the role yet. In conclusion, Mrs Chan graciously agreed to continue her role as the fruits purchaser for a little while longer. However, I hope in time to come,  they will take the initiatives to share in this responsibility as well.

Believe in Breezy and you will reach your Destiny !
Report by
Chan Yì Hern

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!

 

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.

 

Educational Kinesiology Symposium 2014 (28 March) 肌动学与特殊孩童学能发展研讨会

A Focus on Developmental Strategies for People With Special Needs.

Breakthru Enrichment Station organized the first Educational Kinesiology Symposium in Malaysia, with the objective of bringing awareness of various educational strategies, methods, tools and testimonies in assisting special needs people/children’s development and growth.

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This is a one day event, and there were a total of 12 speakers from local and overseas presented their efforts and knowledge in this event. We would like to show our greatest appreciation to these speakers, MC and translators in supporting this event (yup it’s an English/Mandarin event)!

Registration begins at 8.00am, thank you everyone for arriving early. Elaine and her team did a great job in registering and giving away welcome notes to participants.

 

Some of the book that are on sale. If you wish to buy them, please email us for a book list.

 

The children from Breakthru Enrichment Station volunteered to perform a lively dance to welcome our guest. Some of these children have special needs but they all enjoy the performance. The dance that they presented was “Mocha – by the Minions of Despicable Me 2”.

 

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Our MC for the day, Ms Prema (in English) and Ms Liew (in Mandarin). This is a bi-lingual event.

 

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In our welcoming speech, Ms Phoebe (right), and her translator Ms Wan Ching. She highlighted the importance of Active Parenting in supporting their special needs children’s development and what Educational Kinesiology can help them to be more pro-active in such role.

 

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Our key-note speaker, Ms Moira Dempsey (right), is from Australia, and her translator Ms Phoebe (in Mandarin). It was an important lesson to learn about challenges a child face in his/her development.

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Our special adress speaker Ms Ngiam Lian Ai (right), and her translator (in Mandarin). She stressed in the importance of putting the right focus on skill appropriate training (including fine-motor development through edu-kinesiology and movement based learning) instead of over emphasis on academic development, and shared some of her success stories. The refreshments for this event are all prepared by the special needs children trained from Breakthru Enrichment Station.

 

Ms Prema introduces Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) and their various movements to integrate the many reflexes we had in our body.

 

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Mr Victor Wong of Hong Kong explains about ADHD and how he deal with his clients with such challenge.

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Ms Candy of Hong Kong (lady holding the batik souvenir, presented by Cassandra in red) shows us how to do Double Doodle (an Edu-K Movement) with music. Children and adults enjoyed doing their double doodle activities, and were most impressed with the fun it brings too!

 

Mr Dennis Ho (right) and his team (Mr Dennis & Ms Candy) did a great job demonstrating the Meridian Dance, and everyone just loves doing the dance! It is an easy and fun way to remember the primary meridian movements used in Touch for Health™. Lets have the music!

 

Ms Cynthia Teo of Singapore (right) shared the usefulness of Essential Oils in helping ourselves and our children. These clinical grade essential oils are greatly effective and we use it widely in our centre to help our children (and trainers too!). Email us (bestcentre@breakthru.com.my) for your purchasing needs, or to learn more about these oils you may visit Young Living website.

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Lunch is served!

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Ms Siew Lee explains about how do we observe our brain waves using tools from NeuroSky® for the purpose of knowing and training our state of mind. The headset scans your brain wave and can show, in terms of your ability to focus or calm down, the difference before and after doing your Brain Gym® balances, especially useful when you work on your focus or centering dimension balances. Email us (bestcentre@breakthru.com.my) if you wish to know more.

 

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Ms Marie Helene shared her experience with bringing up her teenage child that has special challenges. Many great advise was shared, and also how she uses Edu-K in the process. A very valuable session for many parents, as Marie is a very experienced and knowledgeable trainer cum mother.

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Mr Chong and Ms Sook Fern hosted the young kids parent group discussion session and shared their experience in bringing up their own special need children. Many touching stories were shared, and the importance of personal involvement (and sacrifices) in parenting cannot be stressed any lesser. But we are glad there are more methods to help us nowadays. Its up to the parents now to pick them up!

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Ms Claire Ang talks about learning can be fun using Educational Kinesiology! She gain her first hand insight of this topic from her profession as an Educational Psychologist, and very much encourage everyone to try so. Her PowerPoint presentation will be uploaded here soon.

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Many thanks to all speakers and those who participated in the forum. Our forum moderator, Mr Moses Wong, led us through a one hour of Q&A and highlighted some key questions to discuss about.

Thank You and we appreciate all your feedbacks. See You Again Next Year!

Not forgetting those who worked hard in making this event a successful one, these are some of their photos, and the organizer truly appreciates their contribution and invites all participants together to say thank you to these workers!

Joining National Art Competition 2013 (state level) Photos

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We brought 20 of our children for a Art Competition at SEGi University College last Sunday. It was an eventful day and the children did a stage performance in the attendance of few hundred competition participants. We brought back 2 Special Mention Prizes and 1 Consolation Prize!!

 

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“So that she can be happy.”

Last Friday we had mid autumn celebration in church. It has been a practice of our church to observe some Chinese culture and create a learning opportunity of the Chinese history. Prior to the celebration, some church members started to prepare the lanterns one week early for the event.

My daughter enjoyed watching the adults preparing the lanterns. Suddenly, she came to me and said she wanted the butterfly lantern. I told her that we have to wait till the event and answer the required question before getting one of the lanterns.

Throughout the whole week, she was mentioning and planning to be the first child to arrive church and answer the question of the riddle place on the butterfly lantern.

The day of the Mid Autumn celebration arrive. She got herself ready and arrive church very early. The riddle on the lantern was ‘what can be caught but cannot throw’. Do you know? After a while, with the help of her father, she found the answer – flu. She was so happy that she got her long waited lantern.

The night event was fun. Everyone enjoyed the activities until one of the lantern caught fire and totally burn out. Her friend, Eunice was so devastated and cried. It was her lantern. Some adults was putting off the fire while some try to pacify her. Suddenly the cry stop. I was not sure what help her to stop crying.

The next morning, my daughter came to me and we had the following conversation:

Daughter – “Mom, I did something good last night”.
Me – ” What was it?”
Daughter – “I gave away my butterfly lantern to Eunice”
Me – “Why do you do that?”
Daughter – “Her lantern was burnt and she was sad. I was very sad to see her cry so I gave her my lantern.”
Me – “You really did that? You waited for a week to get it. Why do you do so?”
Daughter – “I just want her to be happy.”

Wow! I’ve learnt a lesson from my daughter.

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Improving Self Confidence of a Dyslexic Child

I have been working with many children with different level of learning difficulties. They are between the age of 5 to 8 years old. Most of them have very low self confidence and behavioral problems. I’ve discovered beside encouragement and motivation (which are very important), there are other practical ways we could apply to help these children to build on their self confidence. Hope you find the article below useful for your pursuit to make a difference to your child or other children with learning difficulties.

Ways to improve a dyslexic childʼs self confidence

by Phoebe L

 

Self-confidence is having confidence and being sure of oneself own value and abilities. In view of the difficulties a dyslexic child maybe experiencing peer pressure and familyʼs expectation on him/herself, a dyslexia child usually has low self confidence instead.

In order to help the dyslexic child to overcome their difficulties, firstly we need to help him/her to build a basic foundation to be secured and have self confidence.

A dyslexic child needs to be accepted as who he/she is. Itʼs important that adults i.e. parents, care taker and teachers who are in direct contact daily with the child need to be positive, encouraging in words and actions.

The followings are some of the ways the adults could help to improve a dyslexic childʼs self confidence:

Read more “Improving Self Confidence of a Dyslexic Child”