This blog was posted on behalf of Lin Huan. Lin is a mother of 4 growing kids (Age: 7, 8, 10 and 12 year’s old) and the 2016 Global Intel Involved Hero Award recipient for her dedication to helping teachers develop plans for early literacy intervention programs. She believe in success through hard work and dedication. Her motto in life “If you want something, work hard and you will achieve it”.
Like many, I was unaware of the challenges that children living with dyslexia, cognitive delay, attention deficit disorder or autism experience. By working closely with the BOLD Association for Children with Special Needs (BOLD), a non-profit community-based organization operating throughout Penang, Malaysia, I learned about the hurdles that many children with special needs face every day. I was so inspired by BOLD’s commitment to equipping children with the tools necessary to lead full and inclusive lives that I immediately began volunteering with the organization, along with many other Intel employees. I also started working closely with BOLD to apply for the Intel Involved Matching Seed Grant (IIMSG) to enhance one of their literacy intervention programs. It was to everyone’s delight when BOLD received the grant to help improve literacy amongst children with special needs.
The hours I spent at BOLD taught me that children with special learning needs, like all other children, want to learn and enjoy learning. Small interventions can do so much to help children with literacy challenges to focus, stay on task, and enjoy the learning process. I witnessed so many children enjoying and benefiting from the new play materials and teaching resources funded through IIMSG. As a “Storytelling Session” volunteer, I would always share in the children’s delight of the new storybooks and witnessed firsthand how their oral language improved over the months. I became particularly close with one student, Tan. He really loved learning to read by switching from books and written materials to the lively animated software on the iPads and computers. In addition to the new materials that helped Tan learn new reading techniques, these same materials helped many children overcome decoding hurdles they faced in different stages of the learning cycle. It was a wonderful experience to watch Tan and the other children’s natural desire to learn bloom as their attention and ability to focus increased and they themselves realized how capable they are.
During my many hours at BOLD, I learned that 10%- 20% of children in Malaysia experienced various kinds of special needs and I wanted to help BOLD raise its awareness and understanding of these children, at least within the Intel community if not also beyond it. My team organized BOLD Family Day event, so Intel employees could learn about BOLD’s work and meet children from the organization. A smaller group of Intel employees then attended a Training Workshop for a more in-depth understanding of BOLD’s teaching strategies. With the awareness gained from both the BOLD Family Day event and the Training Workshop, we now have more Intel employees spending volunteer hours at BOLD.
Giving to BOLD has been very fulfilling and I value all that I have learned. The children’s laughter and joy as they progressed have given me a deep sense of fulfillment. They have truly made me feel that giving makes me special!
In celebration of National Giving Day, I would like to encourage you to give because giving back allows you to experience great joy, happiness, and fulfillment through someone else eyes.