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I first came to know TALI and its great and important work through a few friends. Exactly seven years ago, some friends who are based in the Qinghai part of Tibetan regions talked to me about Patricia Schiaffini and her involvement in Tibetan language and Arts. I was particularly interested in her programs in teacher training for kindergarten school teachers. We began our partnership with TALI then, when we organized a week-long workshop for about 30 Tibetans who then, in the year 2013, were hired by a local government to teach in newly established public schools. The Tibetan teachers were inspired by TALI’s creative trainers from Austin (TX), who have solid knowledge, years of classroom experience and passion for Montessori education. Most importantly, the local government officials were fascinated by Montessori education through TALI’s training and translated books in the topic. They initiated a reform in the curriculum for kindergarten schools in the region. In a couple of years of implementing the new curriculum that is integrated with Tibetan culture and local wisdom, the region has won rewards from the upper level government for its effective education system and practices. All in all, TALI has provided incredible support for the growth of Tibetan kindergarten education through workshops and children’s books. It is my honor to acknowledge TALI and Patricia Schiaffini. Her kindness, generosity, and willingness to put the resources together for Tibetan teachers and children are so valuable. Thank You!

Shamo Thar
Ph.D Student in Education and Research, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Patricia Schiaffini’s constant support and valuable advice have been a great encouragement for me to devote myself into preschool education. Our kindergarten and teachers have received a lot of benefits from Pati and TALI. Through a friend’s introduction, I first met Pati in Columbia University in New York in 2011, and I had a great talk with her about my idea of opening a bilingual kindergarten for Tibetan kids in my hometown-Rebgong. This was also the topic for the thesis of my Master’s Degree at Brandeis University. She introduced me to many bilingual materials and especially, her words encouraged me to get involved in this project and develop further in this career. In 2013, my wife and I opened a Tibetan and Chinese kindergarten in my hometown and we began with only 60 kids. We used some teaching materials published by TALI in my kindergarten. In July 2013, TALI held a Montessori Teaching Method Training in Xining and my teachers and I participated in the training. The training was really helpful to us, because we were able to use some of the teaching methods we learned in our classes. In 2013, TALI donated $300 to help our kindergarten launch a website where people have access to many teaching materials provided by TALI. In 2014, Patricia helped me raise about $500 from an online donation website. With this donation, I was able to purchase more teaching materials and toys for the kids. I often stay in touch with Pati and share our opinions on preschool education for Tibetan kids. Her ideas and suggestions are an encouragement or a guiding lamp to me. I still use some of the teaching texts and storybooks from TALI in my kindergarten. Today I have 260 Tibetan kids in my kindergarten and our kindergarten is one of the most popular kindergartens in Rebgong for its quality of education and care. Pati and TALI’s support have contributed a lot to our success today.

Rebgong, Tibet

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