CyberFair Project ID: 5081

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: A Story Paradise Filled with Laughter – A-fu’s Bookstore
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Lu Chiang Primary school
    Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan

12 students, ages 10-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004,2005,2006

Classes and Teachers: Yen Chih-Sheing, Tseng Hsing-Yi, Kang Kun-Li, Weng Li-Shu

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Luchou City is situated at the west bank of the downstream of Tamshui River, and is opposite from Shilin District, Taipei City, on the northeast side, adjacent to Wugu Township on the west, and to Sanchung City on the southeast. It is in a shape of vertical rhombus with an area of 8,321 Among the 29 townships and cities of Taipei County, it is just a little larger than Yunghe City. Luchou was originally an alluvial sandbank, thus, it has flat land and fertile land, which is suitable for farming and living. However, due to frequent floods in the past, the development of the area was slow. Ten years ago, because the central government passed the “Sanchung Younghe Urban Development Plan”, and the completion of the initial flood prevent project and Erchung Floodway, the problem of flood was solved. Also with convenient access to Taipei City, the migrated population increased. Thus, Luchou Township was advanced to Luchou City in 1997.

2. Summary of Our Project

In a small alley of Luchou City, Taipei City, there is a small and simple bookstore. The 40-ping bookstore has a reading room within its limited space, holds 12 reading meetings per week, and even provides snacks and drinks to the attending parents and children. This is the story of A-fu’s Bookstore and its owner, Mr. Wen-fu Hsiao.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The school network is 100MB fiber cable, directly connected to TANet. Most students have computers at home, and could access the Internet through ADSL.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1.lessons reduced our time on the project: Each member of the team has to attend the parent-comfort class as well as such interest groups as English, piano and painting from Monday to Friday. Saturdays were also filled with various interest classes. So the only time we could use for this project was our noon break, which was from 12:30AM to 1:00PM, during which we discussed our activities and wrote reports. As for those out-school activities, we had to ask for leaves from the interest groups and parent-comfort class. 2. It took all we could do to finish the job: In order to get a deeper understanding of A-fu’s bookstore and uphold its enterprising spirit, we planned various activities, such as interviews, playing drama, and painting. So we had to learn how to write plays, prepare customs, conduct paintings and interviews, make presentations. The most important thing was, we had to learn how to make plans, cooperate and coordinate, and communicate with grown-up peoples. 3. Parents’ worries: Sometimes we had to ask for leaves from the interest groups and parent-comfort class to carry out various activities, and wrote daily logs at evening. Some parents began to worry that such activities would affect the children’s study. The teachers have to communicate with parents about the nature and feature of the Cyberfair project, and asked for their support. 4. Approaching the community: We used to believe that we could learn a lot of knowledge by just sitting in class. Now we began to realize by approaching the community and interviewing the local people, we could gain a lot of experience that we could never get in class. We were grateful towards our teachers, who made all these activities possible.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We were so lucky to walk into A-fu’s Bookstore, enjoy reading and the kindness of the couple, and convey our message to other people in various ways. We believe we are the most fortunate and blessed children in the world. Despite some people said that Luchou was a culture desert, we found ourselves lucky enough to live with A-fu in Luchou. Yu Qiuyu said that, “only books can come over space and time to provide you with messages left by those noble souls, present you with numerous wisdom and beauties in comparison with ignorance and ugliness. Life calls for shaping, and reading is an important chain of the shaping process.” Though we have not yet felt about the power of knowledge, we have received many wisdom and beauties by reading, and would like to share them with others. A-fu’s Bookstore covered an area of only 40 square meters, but we found it so spacious with so many books, laughter and interesting stories. In A-fu’s confident eyes, his little bookstore was bigger and richer than any luxury bookstore.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

We have witnessed the progress made by each member in the Cyberfair project, not only our students, but also teachers. We have not only polished some skills and abilities, but also gained a lot of experience. 1. Our gains 1. For teachers: (1) Better understanding of the community: Our teaching activities used to be confined within the school. During the selection of the topic for the project, we have discussed a lot about the local community, and learnt a lot about our community. (2) Improved teaching skills: Such kind of activities involved a lot and required diversified abilities, such as research methods, tools, the application of internet, the integration, study and application of knowledge from various fields. The teachers have to work together to uphold the strengths and offset each other’s weakness. By the discussing and studying process, the teachers have improved their teaching sills as well as the leadership, which could only be gained by leading the students to carry out various activities. 2. For students: (1) Unusual study and experience: Unlike the lessons in class, the Cyberfair project was a completely different way of studying. Among others, one thing the students learnt in these activities was the importance of planning, which could facilitate the whole project to go smoothly. This experience could not be acquired from books. (2) Better understanding of the local people and hometown: Luchou used to remind people of flooding. However, there were many interesting people living there. Mr. Wen-fu Hsiao, the owner of A-fu’s Bookstore, was one of them. He tried his best to advocate reading, even when his bookstore was losing money. This project has helped us to gain a better understanding of the local people and hometown.More...please link

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Digital disc: Data backup and documentation. Audio recorder: Record interviews. Telephone, mobile phone: Communicate with interviews and project members. Internet: Search for data, E-mail, transfer of website documents. Digital camera: Photograph the activities. DV: Record the play of the Stone Soup, record the interviews. Video card: Collect the video records in computer. Printer: Print data, make posts and cards. Copy machine: Copy materials. Computer: Write reports, search data on the internet, process images, make statistic analysis, etc. Computer software: Namo-making webpage, SwitshMax- making animation, PhotoImpact- image processing, Microsoft Excel—questionnaire statistic analysis, making charts, Microsoft Word- writing daily log, Microsoft powerpoint—making reports....

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

(1)Promotion activities in classes and community: We invited students from grade five, four and two to attend the entertainment hall of the school to watch our play, the Stone Soup. After that, we asked questions to impress them and reward those who were active. So they could become more interested in reading after enjoying your performance. Furthermore, we also performed in the community during holidays for big audience, and called for support of the community people for our reading-promotion activities, which could bring about more resources for our school. (2)Story-telling activities in low and middle grade classes: Based on our paintings, we made a digital edition by Powerpoint to introduce the touching stories of A-fu and played it among students of low and middle grades. It told about a man who started as a poor boy and never stopped his struggle for his dream of building a reading world for children. These students were deeply moved and actively participated in our interactive activities. We found they were really talented and creative. (3)Interviews: we visited Mr. Wen-fu Hsiao, story tellers in the bookstore and Chungyi Elementary School. We also invited Teacher Shu-ying Tsai to Lujiang Elementary School for our interview. With these interviews people became aware that a group of students were working hard to pursue reading resources and promote reading eagerly. (4)Reading online: We build a special Book Club page on the website of our school. We hope students could share their reading experience and happiness here. (5)Reading volunteers We hope that the reading volunteers in our school could establish a long-term reading volunteer organization. So we made questionnaires and issued invitations for the school master and director to attend the meeting in which the story-teller in Chungyi Elementary School, Aunt Yancui, made a speech. We made a lot of preparation works for the meeting, such as writing report and analyzing questionnaires. Aunt Yancui talked about the establishment of story-teller organization in Chungyi Elementary School, story-telling skills, and directly interacted with leaders of the school.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

At the beginning, seldom people around us knew about A-fu’s Bookstore or its location. We thought this was terrible: a fairy-tale bookstore was so ignored by people, was Luchou really a culture desert? During the project, we interviewed Mr. Wen-fu Hsiao, story-tellers in the bookstore and Chungyi Elementary School, and Teacher Shu-ying Tsai. By walking out of school and introducing people into the school, the students built a sound bond with the local people. We hope the participation of students, teachers and reading volunteers could bring deep into their minds two core spirits. 1.The humanistic spirit: By playing the digital paintings, students were aware of Mr. Wen-fu Hsiao’s love toward his hometown and his struggle. Students need such a model to follow. 2. Reading spirit: Students were made aware that Luchou was by no means a culture desert. Many people were working hard to improve our reading ability and share the pleasure of reading. We could promote the reading spirit by the webpage we made.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We are grateful towards: 1.The A-fu couple of A-fu’s Bookstore, who were generous to our disturbance and supportive towards our activities; 2.Story-tellers in A-fu’s Bookstore and the story-telling organization of Chungyi Elementary School, who provided valuable materials and suggestions for us. 3.Students and teachers who participate in our bookmark designing activity. They not only supported our work, but also designed beautiful bookmark for the A-fu’s painting story, promoting the reading in school by exhibiting their work. 4.Reading volunteers in our school, who received our questionnaire investigation and provided us with many valuable suggestions and opinions about establishing a reading volunteer organization in our school 5.Our respectable schoolmaster and director, who gave their selfless support to our activitiy, attended the volunteer discussion meeting and promised to offer further support. Without their encouragement and support our project would be impossible. 6.Teacher Shu-ying Tsai, who accepted our interview and gave us encouragement and support; 7.Students in Class Five of Grade Five, who provided assistance in various activities. We also give our gratitude toward students from Class One Grade Four, who participated in the performance, and four students from Class 18 Grade four, who participated in the painting.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

At the beginning, we thought the Cyberfair project was just about collecting materials, editing webpage, and conducting interviews. Gradually, with the help of teachers, we were involved into activities for the establishment of a school reading volunteer organization! We established our own online Book Club, staged our own performance, carried out painting story and bookmark designing activities, and held a reading volunteer discussion meeting. We felt the influence we made. We were really lucky to participate in this meeting. Furthermore, throughout the process we had to work together. Now we realize the importance of team spirit. Even though there were many difficulties, but by working together we overcame them all. It also gave us a sense of achievement.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5081)

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