There are an estimated 110 million migrant workers in China aged between 16 and 40 years old. They left home in the hope of building a better life for themselves and their family, yet when they start a family of their own, they are faced with a stark choice; either take their children to the cities and subject them to institutionalized discrimination, or leave them behind in the countryside in the uncertain care of relatives.
Luckily in 2010, Shanghai became the first Chinese city to provide free education to all school-age children of migrant workers, through more government investment in facilities and teachers. Compassion for Migrant Children(CMC) builds community centers in the heart of migrant neighborhoods, they offer programs for migrant children and their family.
The CMC Shanghai community center is about forty minutes drive outside of city center. It is located inside a huge wet market where you can find alive chicken, fish, meat and all kinds of veg. We went to join their reading program and worked with groups of 1-3 students to read kindergarten and first grade-level books in English. The program objectives are to help the students get excited about English, have fun learning English, and improve their reading skills.