FIVE years ago a panel of English teachers were thinking about how to raise funds to support students and teachers for English courses and workshops. The result was Appreciation Day, a much-anticipated event held every year in September at SMK Kulim, in Kedah.
Though its primary objective is to raise funds, it’s also a chance for students and teachers to show appreciation for one another and for their loved ones.
Cards are printed and sold for RM1 each. Students write messages on them and hand them to their English teachers. The teachers will then attach these cards to beautifully wrapped apples which are distributed.
Why an apple? Because an apple a day keeps the doctor away! When this project first began it was confined to the school. But of late there have been requests from Form One and Form Six students to have apples delivered to their former classmates and teachers in neighbouring schools.
The teachers then decided to extend the scope of the project to the four nearest neighbouring schools – SMK Sultan Badlishah, SRK Tunku Malik, SMK Lunas and SMK Panglima.
Proceeds from this event are used to sponsor teachers and students for courses and workshops held by other organisations, besides the Education Department. Cheerleading workshops, NiE (Newspaper in Education) workshops and a Language Camp are but a few activities that have benefited from this fund-raiser.
“I’m happy with the students’ participation, especially the weaker students, because they take the initiative to express themselves beautifully and clearly in English, which is for us a huge progress,” said Zanurin Mohd Safar, head of SMK Kulim's English Panel.
He added that this year more than 1,400 cards were sold at a profit of about RM500. He hoped that next year a variety of items could be sold.
Anna Cherubin, head of the Language Department, said the event is a “family affair” involving the whole school. “Everybody looks forward to it, and it’s a good chance for students to improve their English,” she said, adding that messages are edited by the English teachers.
SMK Kulim’s Apple Appreciation Day is without a doubt an interesting way of getting students to communicate in English. It brings us yet one step closer to being an English language literate society.
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