Got reminded of one of my favourite quotes (beautifully illustrated by Maurice Sendak) this past CNY weekend. Hope it resonates with you as much as it did with me.
6 months ago, I took on a marketing project with Saturday Kids. What was initially a 3-month project, turned out to be 6 months and now a full-time gig (having gone freelance since the #baumbinis came along). So who are the Saturday Kids and why am I enthralled by their mission?
Saturday Kids’ mission is to use digital literacy classes to transform kids into self-motivated learners who are curious, inventive and resourceful. I like to think of us as a place where kids experience and play with technology meaningfully - where we design and facilitate learning experiences (using tech) to help kids express themselves and their creativity, rooted in the real world context, and solving real world problems. It is easy to just classify us as a “coding school for kids” - there are many other places out there offering coding classes, but beyond teaching kids how to code, we’re really more interested in growing and developing values such as curiosity, resilience, and empathy that are beneficial to kids in the long run, and across multiple facets of their lives.
I read this somewhere when I first joined - that we learn science and math in school, not to become scientists and mathematicians, and similarly, when kids learn to code, it’s not necessarily to be programmers, but to better understand the world that they now grow up in, which operates and is dominated by tech. Having two budding toddlers also make me personally vested in Saturday Kids' mission. I love having them spend lots of time outdoors, but at the same time, believe that technology, when leveraged appropriately, is a friend, not a foe. They are too young now anyways for any of our courses but I can't wait for them to attend our Curious Cubs few years down the road.
In a recent gathering organised by the Asia Foundation, I heard a couple of stories from people in the region, who spoke their work on social issues in their respective countries. In many instances, solutions were powered by technology to drive change, and it reminded me of one of our favourite taglines “What If Kids Can Invent The Future”, and why we exist.
There’s a lot of work to be done and things to fix. We are a small (but growing team) with big dreams. I love how the team is made up of a diverse group of changemakers - people whom in their past lives had been investment bankers, software engineers, teachers, marketers, graduates, with a simple belief that there’s a better way for our kids to learn, and to learn through purposeful play. Plus I still get to photograph as a side hustle :)
We are still on the lookout for good people to join our team (details here) - curriculum developers, marketing, graphic designers, customer service. So please get in touch if you know of anyone who might be suitable or if there's interesting opportunities to collaborate. Our camps are pretty awesome (just saying), so if you're on the lookout for holiday camps this summer for your kids, drop me a note.
I picked this book up by Anna Quindlen from the library the other day and brought it along with me to Chiang Mai. It's a quick read, though I find myself reading it a couple of times as there were so many quotes that resonated. Below are a few of my favourites:
"If you win the rat race, you're still a rat"
"So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes. Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick ip a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who you love."
"Remember that love is not leisure, it is work"
"The knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God ever gives us"'
"It is so easy to exist instead of live. Unless you know there is a clock ticking."
"C'mon, let's be honest. We have an embarrassment of riches. Life is good. I think of it in all its small component parts: the snowdrops, the daffodils, the feeling of one of my kids sitting close beside me on the couch. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them (these moments), to love them, and to live, really live."
"I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get"
"There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.Read More