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Part 1
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Bringing sunshine into children's lives,
Part 1

Eight Americans from southeast Virginia arrived in Shanghai on October 14, 2005 headed for Nanjing. Their mission was to sing, play games, and conduct English activities with children of migrant workers. All major cities in China have a large "floating" population of rural workers who have come to the city for jobs. They are the ones building all the tall buildings and residential complexes that seem to sprout like mushrooms in Chinese cities, along with myriad other construction projects. Most men leave their families in the countryside, but many bring the whole family. For various reasons, mostly economic, their children often are unable to attend the local schools, so private schools are set up, often in poor facilities and in less desirable areas. In cooperation with Amity Foundation, which provides support for some of these schools in Nanjing, these Americans had come to bring sunshine into the lives of these children.

Here they are, fresh from their international flight, touring a traditional Chinese garden in Shanghai. They are four couples: Don and Kay, Michal and Sara, Norma and Don, and Janice and Steve. After a trip to Nanjing on Saturday afternoon, worship on Sunday morning for the English service of St. Paul's Church, sightseeing at the memorial to the victims of the Rape of Nanking, they were ready to begin their work on Monday morning.

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The first three mornings, the group went to a school near the massacre memorial. It was easy to tell the taxi drivers to go to the memorial and then for the group to walk to the school. The school was located on the second floor of a building in the midst of second-hand furniture wholesale shops and furniture repair shops.

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The schedule each morning was to teach from 9:20 until 10:50, which constituted two periods of the students' day. A Chinese college student was assigned to each classroom to provide translation when needed, to encourage students, and to help as needed. At this school, a small courtyard area was available for outdoor games.

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After three mornings, the Americans had to say goodbye to their new friends. Wednesday of that week they had to do double duty: teaching the last day at the first school in the morning, and in the afternoon, teaching the first day at the second school.