Taarana School’s Shining Star Yu Yann’s Transformation
Yu Yann’s excellent progress is recognised during Taarana’s Annual Day as she receives a certificate from RYTHM Foundation Chairperson, Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran.
Until recently, Tey Yu Yann was a withdrawn and uncommunicative little girl living in her own world. She was diagnosed with a speech disorder called Child Apraxia Syndrome as a toddler and struggled so much that she was ostracised and bullied at school. Yu Yann’s mother, Jamie, was so concerned that she was compelled to unenroll her daughter from the school.
“She was deeply affected by what happened to her,” Jamie recalls. “I was furious and removed Yu Yann from that school. Her confidence was so severely affected that I had to stop her schooling for three months.”
Jamie looked desperately for a supportive learning environment and almost gave up – until she came across Taarana School. The school for children with special education needs was established in 2011 by RYTHM Foundation, the social impact initiative of the QI Group.
Jamie is grateful to have discovered a supportive environment at Taarana, where her daughter has completely transformed and emerged from her shell.
“Before enrolling her in Taarana, Yu Yann was shy and refused to make eye contact when she spoke,” Jamie said. “However, I saw her progress almost as soon as I sent her there. She began to have more confidence, spoke clearly, and was not afraid to ask questions whenever she was unsure about things.”
That confidence and progress were obvious at Taarana’s recent Annual Day celebration. Yu Yann gleefully joined her fellow students in a play where she danced with an exuberance Jamie had never expected to see before Taarana.
“I am thrilled that my once-shy daughter has blossomed into a cheerful girl who has gained the confidence where she can muster the courage to go on stage.”
Yu Yann leads her schoolmates and teachers in a lively dance.
Yu Yann played a starring role as an elderly lady in a skit based on ‘The Enormous Turnip’, a classic Russian folktale about a couple’s adventures cultivating turnips. Later, she led her school in an energetic dance with sparkly pompoms to the upbeat hit ‘I Like to Move It’, a song made famous in the animated film ‘Madagascar.’
The Annual Day was a celebration of other achievements for Yu Yann too. Her excellent progress in therapy and academics was recognised when she cheerfully received awards for ‘Awesome Attendance’, ‘Daily Living Skills Champ’, and Certificates of Participation in Taarana’s Sports Day and Sensory Day.
Day-to-day tasks can be tedious until it becomes automatic for most of us, but not for Yu Yann. “She is genuinely meticulous in everything she does, takes her time, and does it to the best of her ability,” said Dr Sunitha Sivakumaran, Taarana’s Principal.
Yu Yann’s most significant change included conversing more articulately and confidently – something she could not do before enrolling in Taarana.
“I also appreciate that Taarana is a one-stop school for my daughter’s academic classes and speech and occupational therapy. The teachers are very accommodating and understand the kids well,” Jamie added.
Taarana, which means ‘awakening’ in Sanskrit, addresses the urgent need for resources and support for children with special learning needs and their families. The school seeks to unlock every child’s ability through a personalised curriculum to empower them to become independent and contributing members of society.
Watch the video below to learn how Taarana changed Yu Yann’s life:
Watch Taarana’s students dazzle on stage alongside heartfelt messages from Datin Sri Umayal and the children’s family members in the video below: