On many occasions, we have talked about the spirit of the WISS community. It’s just impossible not to bring up all the caring, compassionate, and dedicated people who are part of our community. The WISS community doesn’t mind if you come for a semester or stay with us for years. Once we meet you, you will ALWAYS be part of the WISS family.
People from around 50 different countries, speaking over 40 languages, create a friendly and warm community that makes you feel at home… even if you are more than 10,000 km away from your own.
In the WISS community, there is a place for everyone. When extra hands are needed, we know that we can count on our community members to come together. Whether it is organizing events outside the school, supporting other parents who are new to our community, or maintaining positive feedback and relations with the rest of the people involved in our school, there is always someone willing to give a helping hand.
Parents at WISS are more than the parents of our students. They are part of our community and one of the fundamental elements that makes our school unique. This year, due to the new COVID regulations that affect all schools across Shanghai, parents cannot come onto the WISS campus, making it harder to maintain daily contact within the community.
Community is something we identify with deeply at WISS. And especially during this very peculiar year, we need a sense of belonging. True to its spirit of maintaining community connections, WISS has organized different workshops and coffee mornings with parents off-campus to catch up, keep informed with the many happenings around school, and just have fun!
To Allie Lo, WISS Community Liaison:
“Community is something we identify with deeply at WISS and especially during this very peculiar year, we need connections and the sense of belonging. Despite the restrictions of COVID regulations, we have held managed to hold several parent workshops and activities off campus since the beginning of this school year. Many of these workshops have been led by volunteer parents and they’ve been such great fun! We are lucky at WISS to have such warm, resourceful, generous members in our parent community. It’s lovely to see the enthusiasm that volunteers take to each opportunity and the results are amazing. We look forward to many more workshops to come in the new year.”
WISS Community in the Words of WISS Parents Volunteers
Tina Chen (KGB & G3R) was one of the volunteers that organized Movie Night. In Tina’s words, “Knowing my children are in a healthy, balanced, confident, and caring educating environment, I wanted to join and help to make this community better and better by volunteering as a parent. I can always feel and see the passion of other volunteer parents, and it is enjoyable to work with and learn from them.”
Lucy Rizzo (G5Y) helped with the organization of the Pasta-Making Workshop. “Being a WISS parent volunteer to me is like being part of a big family of parents, where each one of us is always ready to share special things about our cultures and countries. Organizing the pasta workshop was a great opportunity for me to not only meet other parents, but it was also great to share my love for cooking and my family’s Italian traditions. We had such a great time making pasta together. It felt like cooking at home!” shared Lucy.
Orange Zhou (G2G) was a parent volunteer for the Mooncake-Making Workshop and the Movie Night. “As a parent, I’m glad to be of some assistance to my child’s school. I believe that the more parents help and support their child’s school, the better the school will become, resulting in a higher quality learning and growing environment for our children. Why would we, parents, not engage in this if it has the potential to benefit all of us?”
Eunah Cho (G3R) was one of the Kimchi-Making Workshop volunteers. “We (Korean Community) thought about what traditional Korean food could promote our culture well. Many foods represent Korea, but kimchi is such a staple in Korean cuisine. We know that non-Koreans also enjoy eating it. We felt it would be better if we could offer a workshop to other school parents in the WISS community to make a quite simple dish. Through this workshop, we also wanted to share the warm affection that our Korean community feels for our school WISS and the wider WISS community,” expressed Eunah.
Sophie Hsu (Nursery Blue) led the Wreath-Making Workshop. “I wanted to become more in-tune with the things happening at school and at the same time act as a role model for the kids. I think it is important for parents to play an active role in our children’s education. Not only does this improve our kids learning, but it also shows them how much we value their education. December is a gathering time for family and friends. Due to the special circumstances that the world is experiencing, many WISS families will be in Shanghai for the holidays this year. We wanted to make this workshop fun and memorable for those who wish to join. The time and effort spent preparing for this workshop will be worthwhile if everyone has a good time. This was my first time participating in a WISS workshop, and I very much enjoyed organizing it with the volunteer moms. It made me feel proud to be a part of the WISS family,” shared Sophie.
Marianna Llaca (G7, G9, G11) was a parent volunteer for the Taco-Making Workshop. “Being part of the WISS community has always been great! Despite the present COVID restrictions we are experiencing, still ways have been found to stay in touch. I am very happy to have opened (my restaurant) Tacos so that people would gather, have a good time, and at the same time have the opportunity to show a little about our traditions in Mexico. It’s a pride to be part of a community like WISS!”
Jaclyn Truong (G9) was a parent volunteer for the Wreath-Making Workshop. “When it comes to volunteering, it always seems that we will never have the time to help since we are already juggling work, having to care for our family, and piled up household responsibilities waiting for us. However, volunteering, especially at school, allows us to step out of our hectic schedule and be able to connect ourselves to our community. It is important that we make an effort to do so because our children live in it five days out of a week. It is NOT just another thing on my “to-do list” when I realized how much time they are at school.
When I volunteer, I am able to connect myself with teachers and other adult friends which we all share this community together. Who would be a better fit than yourself as a parent to help shape this community into a safe and healthy environment for our children to grow up in. As the old saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It may sound cliche, but over time these friends grow to know, love, and care for your children. When your children are raised by a community that knows you, they are more likely to behave better, have better attendance, and put more effort into their school work. Hence, it is important to give time to volunteer at school because it is an effort that we put back for our own children.”
Isabelle Gestin (G6/G10) is also a volunteer, and for her, “The WISS Parents Association’s mission is to keep our parents and families connected to our school and to each other. No matter where you are in the world, we have a home at WISS. Volunteering for my school helps me to build strong bonds with people from my community, and it gives me a real feeling of belonging. The pool of volunteers is a real melting pot. It is an open window to the world, making our differences our richness. It really echoes the IB values taught to our kids, such as caring, open-minded, communicator, just to name a few.
During the last six years of volunteering, I took over different roles,
depending on the time I could offer. There is always a way to help, whether
simply reading a book to your child’s class, selling raffle tickets to
organizing an event. Whatever I did, I always found real fulfillment. It is
like baking a cake for your kids, you spend time in it, and then you enjoy it
together, receiving smiles and happiness!”
If you would like to join our parent volunteers, please contact Allie Lo, WISSCommunity Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your ideas with us. We are all ears!