On October 28, 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J. Matthews visited Dato Mohammad Yassin Primary School in Mentiri to donate children’s books and English teaching resources to the school library.
Ambassador Matthews was welcomed by Deputy Principals Mohammad Razaliegh and Hjh Rozita Hj Md Daud, along with 150 students and teachers from Preschool (Pra) and Year 3. Ambassador Matthews commented, “We are pleased to have the opportunity provide these English-language books to this school, which is eager to improve educational opportunities for its students and to make a positive impact in the community.”
The U.S. Embassy also donated 100 frisbees to the school’s Physical Education (P.E.) department. Ambassador Matthews and YSEALI (Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative) volunteers led a frisbee demonstration with the students.
English teacher Marilyn Kok initiated the event in conjunction with the school’s Intercultural Awareness program. Ms. Kok is an active participant in the American English Program, through which American Embassies offer on-line courses for English-language teachers and learners. Through this program, Ms. Kok has developed her skills in teaching English to young learners using education technology.
The book donation at the school marked the opening of the third American Shelf in Brunei. By serving as a resource for books and other information on the United States, American Shelves build bridges of understanding between the Brunei and the United States. The National Library of Brunei Darussalam and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) also host American Shelves.