Volunteer Day at Kirkwood Child Development Center


Each year thousands of University of Southern California (USC) alumni gather across the globe to make a difference in their communities. Members from the San Francisco USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association gathered on Saturday, March 11, 2017 for USC Alumni  Day of SCervice at Wu Yee Children’s Services Kirkwood Child Development Center in the Hunters Point neighborhood.

USC alumni were joined by Wu Yee staff who spent the day beautifying Kirkwood Child Development Center which involved a general exterior clean-up and planting flowers.

Through the efforts of all volunteers on USC Alumni Day of SCervice, we ensure our children have a welcoming and positive environment to learn, play, and grow in.

Wu Yee would like to thank the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association and everyone who joined us in on this day of service!

If you would like to get involved with Wu Yee, please email communications@wuyee.org for more information.

The Chinese Exclusion Act Documentary Shown at CAAMFEST35

In 1882 the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers to come to America, didn’t allow Chinese immigrants who left to visit family to re-enter the country, and forbid Chinese nationals to become citizens of the United States. The Act existed for 60 years before it was repealed by congress in December 1943 — two years after China became a U.S. ally in World Word II.

For many, the history of discrimination towards Chinese immigrants in the United States is a reminder that globalization, immigration, labor, and civil rights issues have always been a part of the American experience which still resonates to this day. The decades of injustices that continued after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act gave rise to activists, social workers and parents, like our founders who established Wu Yee Children’s Services to address the challenges faced by new immigrants in Chinatown.

On Sunday, March 19, 2017, the Center for Asian American Media CAAMFEST35 will present The Chinese Exclusion Act by documentary filmmaker Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu at the Castro Theater in San Francisco at 7:00 PM.

 “The 60 years of national exclusion, racialized ordinances, and hate crimes, is more important than ever to bear witness to,” writes Stephen Gong, Executive Director of CAAM, on CAAMFEST35 website.

The Chinese Exclusion Act is also part of CAAM’s “Who is American?” educational and community outreach campaign that will aim to reach high school and college students to learn more about this significant piece of U.S. and Chinese history.

The two-hour documentary, which will also broadcast on PBS in May 2017, includes interviews with scholars and experts including Erika Lee, writer and professor at University of Minnesota; Jean Pfaelzer, writer and professor at University of Delaware; and Renqui Yu, historian and professor at State University of New York. As well as testimonies from those who came to the U.S. as “paper sons.”

Both filmmakers Rick Burns and Li-Shin Yu are expected to attend the showing along with producer Robin Espinola.

View The Chinese Exclusion Act official trailer here.

Buy tickets for The Chinese Exclusion Act showing at Castro Theater here.

Happy Human Day! 人日快乐!

We hope your year of the Rooster is off to an auspicious start. According to ancient Chinese mythology, each of the first 6 days of the new year represent the creation of a different animal. On the 7th day, called renri (人日) or “human day”, humans were created. Traditionally, it is a day to gather and celebrate friends, family, and community. This year on renri, February 3, we would like to honor our humans, all those who fought for human rights before us and for each and every person’s right to dignity and justice. 

The Lunar New Year is a time to give money in red envelopes, lai see, to children, sending good wishes and luck. 

Renri celebrates the "birthday" of all humans, and we invite you to celebrate with us by making a lai see gift to wish our children and families joy and prosperity at www.wuyee.org/donate.

恭喜發財,新春大吉!祝大家雞年行大運!據中國傳說,在新年首六日,每天代表了不同動物的生日,而第七日即人日是代表人的生日。根據傳統習俗,所有社區親朋戚友會聚首一起慶祝這天。今年人日是二月三日, 我們想要表彰我們人類,所有那些為人權, 個人尊嚴和正義奮鬥的人。


人日是祝賀眾人的生日,我們邀請大家和我們一起慶祝!可從以下網站 www.wuyee.org/donate 為我們的家庭及孩子們派利是,祝賀他們身心健康,前程似錦。

Happy Year of the Rooster from Wu Yee Children's Services! 恭喜發財,新年快樂!

In Chinese culture, the year of the fire rooster begins tomorrow, January 28. Fire represents upward motion and the rooster represents physical and moral fortitude. This is an anniversary year for us to honor our beginnings from serving the Chinese working, immigrant parents in Chinatown four decades ago, to present day, serving children and families throughout San Francisco - steadfast and committed to overcoming barriers so that children are healthy, families can thrive, and communities stay strong.

Lunar New Year is celebrated over 15 days, with each day dedicated to practicing various customs like visiting different family members and honoring our ancestors. 

The celebrations begin tonight, on the Lunar New Year Eve, when many families will gather for dinner, enjoy festive decorations in red, symbolizing good fortune and joy, and yellow or gold, also symbolizing good luck, and give red envelopes with money to children. Firecrackers bid goodbye to the old year, and welcome in the new year. Wu Yee's offices and centers are closed to observe the holiday, and we wish you and yours a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous Year of the Rooster!


A Tribute to Our Founders

As we approach Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I reflect on Dr. King’s iconic speech given in front of the Lincoln Memorial and how it set the stage for the formation of our organization.

A little over a decade after Dr. King‘s famous I Have A Dream speech, Wu Yee Children’s Services was formed by a committed group of social workers, parents, teachers, grandparents, who worked tirelessly alongside the directors of the Chinatown Child Development Center and Chinatown Community Children’s Center to address the overwhelming need for childcare services for immigrant, working families. They formed The Association of Children’s Rights, which later became Wu Yee Children’s Services, to provide the much needed child care and resource and referral services that still exists today.
When Wu Yee was incorporated in 1977, there was strong anti-immigrant sentiment and antagonism toward people of color, propelling Wu Yee to establish a multicultural curriculum to help immigrant children retain their own cultural roots as they prepared to integrate into mainstream schools.
Although controversial at the time, Wu Yee’s multicultural curriculum included sharing holidays with Japanese, Latino, and Asian Centers around San Francisco, recognizing that every culture plays an important role in the community. Wu Yee served as a safety net for families, many of whom experienced hostility from others in their daily lives.
Building on our founders’ progressive vision, Wu Yee continues to deliver a diverse range of services throughout San Francisco to expecting parents and young children, including: early education, health, mental health, nutrition, and family support services. 
Wu Yee means "protector of children" in Cantonese, and protecting the rights of San Francisco’s children to be safe, healthy, and happy is always at the heart of Wu Yee's mission. By ensuring that children are well-supported we ensure the growth of thriving families and strong communities—especially those with diverse populations.

In memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., we thank our founders for having the bold vision to celebrate individuality and diversity while fighting for equality for all children. In the words of Dr. King, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back... I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
Thank you Catherine Ko, Ruth Yee, Miranda Li, Yan Wong, Siu Yip Wong, Alice Lau, Stella Chan, Karen Chin, and Sai Ling Chan Sew and countless others for paving the way for our children today.

We have come a long way, but there is much more work to be done.  Until everyone is truly equal in dignity and justice, we will not be free. What are your dreams for your children?  Share with us at #WuYee or @WuYeeOrg.

With gratitude,

Monica Walters
Chief Executive Officer      

A message from our CEO

Dear Wu Yee Community,

I want to share a part of the press release sent out yesterday by California’s Legislative Leaders and to expressed Wu Yee’s deepest support for the sentiment below.

“Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because with Tuesday’s election results Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California. By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny. California, the largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy, has shown it has its

surest conscience as well.

California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love. 

California has long set an example for other states to follow. And California will defend its people and our progress. We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility...”

Wu Yee values San Francisco’s rich and diverse community. Thank you for all you do for our city and country. 

Wu Yee pledges to continue providing quality, inclusive and comprehensive services to those children and families who come to us for vital support. 

Warm regards,

Monica Walters



9 de noviembre 2016


Estimada Comunidad de Wu Yee,

Quiero compartir una parte del comunicado de prensa enviado ayer por los Líderes Legislativos de California y al apoyo más profundo de Wu Yee expresado al sentimiento abajo.

“Hoy en día, nos despertamos sintiendo como extraños en una tierra extraña, porque con los resultados electorales del martes los estadounidenses expresaron sus opiniones en una sociedad pluralista y democrática que son claramente incompatibles con los valores de la personas de California. Por un margen en los millones, californianos rechazaron abrumadoramente política alimentada por la misoginia, la intolerancia y el resentimiento. California, el estado más grande de la unión y el conductor más fuerte de nuestra economía nacional, ha mostrado que tiene su conciencia más segura también.

California es-y debe ser siempre- un refugió de la justicia y oportunidad para que personas de todos los caminos, charlas, edades y aspiraciones-sin tener en cuenta como se mire, donde viven, que idioma habla, o a quien ama.

California ha sido durante mucho tiempo un ejemplo para otros estados a seguir. Y California va a defender su pueblo y nuestro progreso. No vamos a permitir que una elección revertir generaciones de progreso a la altura de nuestra diversidad histórica, progreso científico, producción económica y sentido de la responsabilidad global...

Wu Yee valora la comunidad rica y diversa de San Francisco. Gracias por todo lo que haces para nuestra ciudad y país.

Wu Yee se compromete a continuar brindando servicios de calidad, inclusivos e integrales a aquellos niños y familias que vienen a nosotros para recibir apoyo vital.

Saludos cordiales,

Monica Walters





“今天,我们就像在外国地方睡醒的陌生人。 在星期二的选举结果中,美国人表达了他们对一个多元化和民主社会的看法,这明显不符合加利福尼亚人的价值观。在数以百万计的幅度,加州人压倒性地拒绝由怨恨、 偏执    和厌女症助长的 政治 。加利福尼亚州是最大的州份和我们国家的经济最强动力表明它具有以及它最可靠的良心。 

加利福尼亚州是一个正义的避难所,无论你的外貌,年龄, 居所,语言,爱戴或理想, 在此州都会得到这机会。


长久以来, 加利福尼亚已树立了给其他州份的榜样。而加利福尼亚将捍卫其民众及进展。








 Monica Walters










Research Finds It Pays to Play in Early Childhood Education

In a recent blog post published in the Washington Post, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an expert in early childhood education, argues that focusing on the “achievement gap” should take far less precedence over focusing on what she calls the “play gap” in preschools and kindergartens across the country.


Carlsson-Paige who has been a leader in early childhood education for decades says that ever since the No Child Left Behind act, there has been a growing emphasis on rote learning at the pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten level. The problem with this, says Carlsson-Page, is that children best learn naturally, through playing, when “they are fully engaged-body, mind and spirit.”


According to the article, playing benefits children in many ways including boosting “problem solving skills, social and emotional awareness, self-regulation, imagination, and inner resilience.” These benefits are even greater, says Carlsson-Paige, to low income students who often don’t have time to have fun and learn outside the classroom, compared to their more well-off peers, contributing to the overall education gap.  

“Many urban, low-income children have limited play opportunities outside of school, which makes in-school playtime even more vital for them. But what studies now show is that the children who need play the most in the early years of school get the least. Children in more affluent communities have more classroom play time. They have smaller class sizes and more experienced teachers who know how to provide for play-based learning. Children in low income, under-resourced communities have larger class sizes, less well-trained teachers, heavier doses of teacher-led drills and tests, and less play.”


At Wu Yee, we agree with Nancy Carlsson-Paige that playing is an integral part of not only early childhood education, but childhood in general. That’s why Wu Yee Children’s Services offers a unique learning environment where children can learn through play and practical life experience. We are proud to offer the benefits of play to low-income children in neighborhoods across San Francisco to help them reach their full potential both in school and later on in life.

Want to learn more about how Wu Yee helps low-income families across San Francisco? Visit our website today!