Starfish Country Home School Foundation

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Starfish Country Home School Foundation
Founded March 2005
Founder Dr. Richard P. Haugland
Focus Education of children from ethnic minorities in Thailand
Origins Chiangmai, Thailand
Area served Thailand
Key people Dr. Richard P. Haugland (President)
Nanthaporn Seributra (Vice President)
Nathi Schumann (Foundation Manager)
Revenue The Starfish Country Home School Foundation is completely funded by the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, an American private foundation.
Employees 100
Slogan "It makes a difference to this one."
Mission To develop and provide an exceptional learning environment and education materials for Thailand's future leaders
Website http://www.schsf.org

The Starfish Country Home School Foundation was registered as a non-profit organization in Thailand in March 2005. The foundation’s principal offices are located outside the Mae Taeng District, about 45 km (27 miles) north of the city of Chiangmai in northern Thailand.

The use of Starfish in the name of the Starfish Country Home School Foundation originates from the famous parable of Loren Eisley, The Star Thrower. That story reflects the philosophy of the Starfish Country Home School Foundation of trying to give significant assistance to a relatively small number of beneficiaries so as to have a large impact on their lives.

Activities of the Starfish Country Home School Foundation are completely funded by the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, an American 501(c)(3) private foundation incorporated in Washington state.[1] Dr. Richard P. Haugland is founder and president of both the Starfish Country Home School Foundation and the Richard P. Haugland Foundation. Along with Dr. Rosaria P. Haugland, he founded Molecular Probes Inc. in 1975. Molecular Probes was eventually sold to Invitrogen in August 2003.[2] He was a chemistry graduate of Hamline University and received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1970. Drs. Richard and Rosaria Haugland received honorary doctorates from Hamline University in 2006.[3]

The Vice President of the Starfish Country Home School Foundation is Dr. Nanthaporn Seributra, while the foundation's manager is Mrs. Nathi Schumann.[4]

The Starfish Country Home School Foundation is not affiliated with any religious or political organization.[5]

The Starfish Country Home School Foundation supports its own activities but also funds worthwhile programs in child education, medical care and for street children in Asia.

Starfish Country Home School (Creativity Center)[edit]

In April 2005 the Starfish Country Home School Foundation completed purchase of the site of a former resort on the Ping River and remodeled this for use as a home and free bilingual school for needy hill tribe children. The Starfish Country Home School (Creativity Center) opened in June 2005 with 10 students. It was registered with the Thailand Education Ministry as a kindergarten (anubaan) in 2006 and as a primary school (prathom) in 2008. Teaching is in a combination of English and Thai plus the hill tribe languages.[6] In March 2012 the Starfish Country Home School had 52 resident children, almost all of whom are either Hmong or Lisu, and 24 Thai day students. The school has three kindergarten classes and six primary school classes. The school uses a curriculum that it calls Thaiglish to teach English. Thaiglish is a picture-based curriculum that uses a combination of Thai and English script to more accurately represent the sound of American English words.[7] The school has also developed its own curriculum for teaching mathematics. The mathematics curriculum is based on work initially done by Dr. Richard P. Haugland when working as a volunteer teacher at the Pine Point Indian School in Minnesota in 1970–1972. Most of the primary school students at the Starfish Country Home School study Western ballet, jazz and Thai classical dancing.[8]

Starfish Homes in Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Bangkok[edit]

In May 2006 the Starfish Country Home School Foundation purchased a new 80-room apartment house in the city of Chiangmai and remodeled it for use as a residence and daycare facility for needy or abused hill tribe children. In March 2012 the Starfish Home had 33 resident children and a free daycare program for 37 additional children aged three to six.[9] The Starfish Home Chiangmai also operates Starfish Girls, a weekend program for education of talented high school girls.

In May 2005, the Starfish Country Home School Foundation also started the Wildflower Home, a residential and training program for pregnant girls and single mothers. That program relocated to the Starfish Home Chiangmai in May 2006 and has since become an independent Thai foundation.[10]

In May 2008, the Starfish Country Home School Foundation opened the Starfish Home Chiangrai. The Starfish Country Home School Foundation built a new residence for the Starfish Home Chiangrai that opened in May 2010. In October 2010 there were 16 hill tribe girls living at that site. An Akha woman lawyer in Starfish Home Chiangrai provides free legal aid for hill tribe people.[11]

In August 2010 the Starfish Country Home School Foundation purchased land in the city of Bangkok established a daycare and education facility for needy children living in Bangkok’s slums. May 2011, it opened a free preschool program for needy children living in nearby slums while it was constructing a new facility. The facility was completed in September 2011. Currently, there are 14 students in two classes but the new facility will permit expansion to a total of at least 60 children. These children will attend regular Thai schools after they complete the program.[12]

Most of the resident children at the three Starfish Homes come from broken families with no father and often no mother present. About 20% of the residents have one or both parents in prison.[13]

Funding External Programs in Asia[edit]

The Starfish Country Home School Foundation has completely funds the academic activities at Wat Papao in the city of Chiangmai. Wat Papao is a primary school for approximately 180 children of Shan migrant workers. Most of these students are too old to go to regular Thai schools or are not proficient in Thai language.

The Starfish Country Home School Foundation so far has awarded 120 three- or four-year scholarships to needy but talented students in northern Thailand who have finished either grade three or grade six so they can continue to attend a school near their homes.

Since July 2007, the Starfish Country Home School Foundation has funded the complete cost of a program for basic education of inmates at the Chiangmai Women’s Prison. It also supports the costs of a room for babies of inmates within the prison. Additionally, the Starfish Country Home School Foundation provides scholarships for the children of women prisoners.[13]

The Starfish Country Home School is a major financial contributor to Baan Gerda, an orphanage for HIV-positive children in Lopburi Thailand, New Hope for Cambodian Children, an orphanage for HIV-positive children in Cambodia, Angkor Hospital for Children, a free pediatric hospital in Siem Riep Cambodia, Moo Baan Dek and Children of the Forest, which are homes for very needy or abused children in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, M’Lop Tapang, a program for street children in Sihanoukville Cambodia and several additional programs in education, health and for street children in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and India.[14]

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