Little Sprouts

Wu Yee Child Development Centers Return to Nature

John Gunnarson in the Nature Room at Little Sprouts Child Development Center

John Gunnarson in the Nature Room at Little Sprouts Child Development Center

Five Wu Yee Children's Services Child Development Centers have started to update their play spaces to include rocks, trees and water - all vital elements in nature.  At Little Sprouts Child Development Center in Chinatown, this means putting plants and fish tanks in the classrooms and renaming their indoor play space, the “Nature Room” in honor of the vines, branches, and rocks integrated with the toys, games, and activities.  

John Gunnarson, designer of the Nature Room at Little Sprouts states some of the many benefits of having a more natural based play space are increased problem solving and creativity. He said, “by seeing the slight differences in natural objects like leaves and sticks, children can think creatively and value diversity.” Little Sprouts Center Manager, Martha Ly echoes Gunnarson’s sentiment saying, “Being exposed to natural elements promotes calmness and creativity. Children are more likely to take risks and explore.”  

Being exposed to natural elements also encourages children to develop a love of nature and the environment and want to preserve it for generations to come. “These children could be future policy makers and politicians. They need a chance to experience nature in a safe place and develop a positive connection to our environment, ”said Gunnarson.    

We look forward to seeing the children play in the Nature Room at Little Sprouts, and the completion of the renovated play spaces at the four other Wu Yee Child Development Centers.

Wu Yee Alum Reflects After 15 Years

As a toddler, Brian Liu was, "a good kid, and always listened to his teachers", said former teacher, Sara Yang. "He was no trouble at all."  Learning skills such as being attentive, considerate, and a dedicated learner early on in life, may have contributed to his success at Lowell High School and as a martial arts instructor at Salesian Boys' and Girls' Club.  

Brian graduated this year from Lowell, and plans to to attend City College of San Francisco in preparation for a four year University.  He is undecided on a major, but is leaning towards Computer Science.  

During the past two summers, Brian worked with kids at Salesian Boys and Girls’ Club in North Beach ages first through fourth grades, teaching the martial art, taekwondo.  "I try not to be too strict and have fun," he said.  However, Brian is serious about martial arts, having taken classes for nine years, since he was in third grade.

Although Brian doesn't remember much about his time as a two-year-old at Wu Yee, he remembers having fun celebrating his birthday, the patient teachers, and interacting with the other toddlers. He's grateful he had the opportunity to participate in preschool.

In his spare time, Brian likes to play video games and hang out with his friends, mostly congregating at his house since it is centrally located.  He has lived in Chinatown his whole life, and feels comfortable here.  "I fit in well here, Chinatown will always feel like home to me," he said.  

We celebrate Brian's successes and wish him all the best at City College, with martial arts, and beyond!

Good Luck, Hannah Wu!

Hannah Wu has been a longtime fixture at Wu Yee Children's Services. She started at Little Sprouts as an infant, then moved to Lok Yuen and Generations preschools; all within San Francisco's Chinatown. Hannah has spent more than four years with Wu Yee!

"I feel very comfortable and safe with Wu Yee," said Helen Wu, Hannah's mother.  "I have lots of support from the teachers and managers," she said.  

In the fall, Hannah will transition out of Wu Yee's child development centers and into Kindergarten.  Helen said she is looking forward to new challenges and new friends at Hannah's new school.  "I am proud of her learning and development," Helen said.

Hannah's teacher at Little Sprouts, Doreen Zhao, saw a lot of growth in Hannah's personality and social development.  She said Hannah was shy and crying when she first started at Little Sprouts, but after she developed trust, her personality opened up and she began to build relationships with other children.  During her time at Little Sprouts and continuing on to preschool, Hannah loved singing songs, listening to stories and drawing.  

From all of us at Wu Yee Children's Services, we are so proud of you, Hannah!  We look forward to your bright future.  

End of Year Celebrations at Wu Yee Child Development Centers

The end of July marked a joyous time for Wu Yee Children's Services' child development center participants as they celebrated the transition of many children from Early Head Start to Head Start programs, and from Head Start to Kindergarten. 

Kids, their families, and teachers gathered at the centers in a happy mood to celebrate the children's accomplishments of making friends, sharing with their peers, and creating community.  Activities such as face painting, singing songs, and story time were enjoyed by all. From everyone at Wu Yee Children's Services: Good luck to our children transitioning to new schools and programs, and we hope to see you soon in the coming program year!