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Project HappyChild NEWS

1st June 2005

[for ongoing updates, see Latest Site News]

Appeals and Projects helping children across the world

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


Hello again! We'd thought we might delay writing this Newsletter till September, but there's been so much going on here, we couldn't leave it any longer :)

The whole "worldwide" factor of this site has suddenly accelerated ..... and if you can find the time to look around all the site areas linked below, you - like us! - may be surprised at how they are all starting to dovetail neatly into a coherent overall shape. A "big" shape, it has to be admitted (16,000 pages so far and probably around 25,000 when the pagebuilding is all, finally, "done") but an "integrated whole", nonetheless, and interlinked with many thousands of high-quality resources across the Internet worldwide.


... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


The *biggest* new additions are the "Countries A-Z" and "Islands A-Z" pages - literally indexing almost the entire inhabited world so that kids everywhere can link up with one another. Over 200 individual "country" entries link to the relevant areas of the "schools" and "projects helping kids" areas of the site here, individual country statistics (CIA world factbook), and area maps, but also identify country internet codes, dialling codes, and languages spoken [cross-referenced to the free dual-language worksheets area where you'll also find lists of countries where English is spoken, those where French is spoken, etc.]

You don't just get to find out the "currency" used in any given country .... there are links to actual pictures of the relevant banknotes going back over many years (so for countries which have recently adopted the "euro" you can still find pictures of francs, deutschmarks, guilders ....) As the saying goes, "He who disregards history, forfeits perspective ....."

"Islands A-Z" lists (so far) over 2000 islands across the world, and we're progressively linking these to the relevant countries, island law jurisdictions and geographical area maps, as well as including links to themes such as "Islands of France", "Antartic Islands" and "Islands on the Air", for all those schools with ham radio clubs .....

This is a *huge* undertaking! but "Countries A-Z" is already completed and "Islands A-Z" is well under way and we're asking all schools to use Schools Interchange to contact an island school in the opposite hemisphere ..... governments can legislate all they like, but in the final analysis it's the schools linking up which will make the difference in integrating *all* children across the planet and shape the thinking of the leaders of tomorrow's generation. "Contact" is better than "theory", any day :)


... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


On the "academic" side of the site, we're delighted to say that many more free French-English vocabulary worksheets have been uploaded, on themes including tools and equipment, cars, driving, transport, travel, house, rooms, furniture, house plants, garden plants, weather, holidays and sightseeing, parts of the body, jewellery, gems and metals.

Lots of variety - particularly for boys whose interests are rarely catered for in language textbooks! - with "tools" covering everything from angle grinders to drill bits and different types of screwdrivers, whilst "cars + driving" ranges from brake shoes and spark plugs to oil pressure and changing gear.

As far as we know there is no other free resource like this on the Internet worldwide! (and it will be replicated for other languages in due course - see the "Any Language to English area) - and the vocabulary is up to date and *specific* with, for example, "body" items covering everything from hair gel and hair wax to combination skin, shower gel, lip gloss, mascara and cleansing lotion. Links to the new worksheets from the main French index page here.


... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


TIME AND SPACE: We've also uploaded a new "Time and Space" page to provide a *framework* for kids to slot their learning into ..... tracing back from how things began, in different geographical areas of the world, to the astonishing speed and diversity of developments today. Worth a look! ... we've had some *very* approving e-mails about this one :)

FREE MATHS RESOURCES: *major* progress here. As many of you will know, the free maths worksheets on the site here were created initially because we couldn't *find* free maths resources that would help kids to learn the basics - addition, subtraction, times tables, division, fractions and percentages. Judging by the visit levels to our on-line worksheets, these have fulfilled a very real need across the world ..... but we were keenly aware that resources were also needed for teaching beyond that stage, to supplement those kindly provided by Cambridge University through their NRICH site, linked from the Maths pages here up to Advanced Level.

We're delighted to say that Kaiya Williams has located a Maths resource that explains every progressive stage of Maths right up to GCSE - and it's FREE. *Complete* teaching guides and worksheets/workbooks from Year 1 through to GCSE ..... select the relevant key stage on our Free Maths Resources page here. We're fairly convinced that the new resource, together with the huge NRICH site and the 4000+ free Maths worksheets on line at the site here, just about "does" Maths (for our purposes, at any rate!) ..... and will benefit not only schools but also the many children on home education worldwide.

ANY LANGUAGE TO ENGLISH: Our thanks to Cindy in Finland, who has offered to translate the English verbs and vocabulary into Finnish, and to Rashid in England who has offered free translation into Bengali - this gives us a total of *eight* languages in this area so far. Click here for details of free language worksheets currently under translation ..... and our thanks to all the translators currently working so hard to make this resource possible :)

Thanks go also to Vanina and Katherine in England, for offering to check Spanish verbs and vocabulary, and to Claude Bourne in Kent, for sending us (free!) a brand new copy of MS Works 2000 for use by one of our translators - we've bought several more new copies of MS Works 2000 from Ebay (auction site) so we have enough for immediate use - however we *will* need more in due course and any that visitors can send in will be very welcome :)


... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOPS: We've been forwarded some info by PlayLink on their "No Risk, No Play" seminar on 5th July, see details here; and senior Local Authority decision-makers may well find their 14th June event of interest: "We will explore the reasons why too many local authorities are directing resources to providing less than best possible play opportunities for children. The discussions will, for example, analyse and address concerns about potential negligence claims and parental complaint" (text extracted from their site) - more details on line here.

PROJECTS HELPING KIDS: We've updated the many links for SOS Children's Villages which provide homes for around 50,000 children in over 125 countries and helps half a million more through projects around the world, including AIDS orphans, street children and tsunami orphans.

2005 Events: Many of you will be aware of the huge range of events raising funds for disadvantaged kids, taking place this summer - see the Events Calendar for details of everything that's happening worldwide, including the annual "Big Toddle" for Barnardo's, for playgroups across the UK during June 2005, and the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair Gala Evening (usually well-attended by celebrities) in aid of the NSPCC and scheduled to take place in London on 16th June.

SCHOOLS INTERCHANGE: Thanks go to K Steer at Bridgewater High School for sending in a link to Warrington Schools on line. These have now been linked from the "Schools in the British Isles" page at Schools Interchange (scroll down that page to England - Cheshire).

On the subject of schools, we noticed whilst checking links from the new "Countries" and "Islands" areas, that a few URLs have changed since we last visited ..... we've amended those which were immediately apparent, but if any of you discover further changes (or *new* Government-school-net resources) please let us know so that we can add details for the benefit of other visitors worldwide. Schools Interchange is experiencing a rapid rise in visitor levels! especially to the page for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island schools.



TSUNAMI AFTERMATH: We're finding it a little disconcerting that despite untold millions of pounds being given by individuals in the appeals after the tsunami devastation, this aid has apparently failed to get through at *all* to some of the worst-hit areas.

We have just heard back from East Coast RDT (who provided some more info that has now been added to the April 2005 Newsletter), that none of these donations have reached their area of Tamilnadu; and as far as we know none reached Bethany Children's Home in Tamilnadu either (the home is run by a former priest and was struggling to cope even before it took in survivors from the disaster).

Gwalior Children's Hospital We have also been approached by Gwalior Children's Hospital, set up by Dr. BK Sharma, a paediatric surgeon currently working in the British NHS (see their "about us" page). After the tsunami they helped *18,000* people in the Tamilnadu area (see mobile hospital) yet Dr. Sharma's "blog" says: "We have very limited resources and funds .... as our Tsunami appeal was not very successful and our applications for grants from big organisations have fallen on deaf ears so far."

If any companies or individuals reading this page can spare any money to help any of these three desperate organizations, please contact them direct (all linked details have e-mail addresses, or e-mail us here if you have any trouble contacting them). We *know* many of you will *already* have given to your own country's co-ordinated national appeal, and generously ..... but clearly funds have failed to actually reach some areas (as Bill Clinton commented in Sri Lanka only the other day) - and they need your help *now*.


... the longest journey starts with a single step ...


Well, a briefer Newsletter than the last one! but it really has been non-stop here and the summer looks like being no different. Planned pagebuilding includes focussing on getting all the new cheats, tips and shortcuts on line at Andy's Guide to Pokémon as well as completing the grammar pages for the French area and completing the pagebuilding for Spellings, Sounds and Meanings.

Today - 1st June 2005 - is seven *years* to the day since my own first (very basic) handful of pages for Project HappyChild went on line. The first 40 or so pages had been built by Martin Lockey and Kevin Revill, both "experts" - for me it was new and uncharted territory, and without any experience whatsoever, something of a struggle to actually fathom out how to do things :)

The earliest example we still have of the main welcome page from those days [largely unchanged except for the removal of mail links] is on line here - colours and wording mine, but the marquee and the graphics (apart from the "road", "next page" and page-background graphic) were all inherited from Martin ....

We've come a long way since then! and the help and publicity for the site, from so many of you "out there" has made all the difference to creating this website. Starting to feel like it has "taken shape" now! and indebted to every single one of you who has been part of that. Thank you so much for making this *happen*.

Archive of 2005 Newsletters at Project HappyChildBest regards,

Penny.

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Project HappyChild News - 1st June 2005 -
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