Friday, February 5, 2016

Who's Who in After-School, Part 3

We've been back in school for almost a month now, so I thought it would be good to share about another one of my students. Before I do that though, let me tell you a little about what happened in the final weeks before the winter break. We were in the States, but the after school program continued for three weeks. Claudiu and Cristina approached me in November about doing some sort of Christmas performance for the families of our students. I was excited about the enthusiasm they had for wanting to take on something special with the kids. We worked out a plan for them to practice during the second hour of the school day for this program. On December 17th, they invited families and friends to the church to perform what they had been working on. It was great to get the pictures while we were in the States.

Now, we've been hard at work getting back to the grind of learning to read and write. One of my students, Cristina, is doing an excellent job! She is one of the poorest kids in my group, and she has struggled with reading since I've known her. She's now in the 6th grade and still far behind. At the beginning of the school year, she did not attend regularly, and didn't show much interest in committing to learn to read. Over the last few months, something changed. I wish I could say that there was something special that we did to encourage her, but I think she really came to this decision on her own. Since we started back to school in January, she has come everyday, and her reading is getting stronger! She no longer has to "sound out" all of the words. She is recognizing words and using comprehension to make sense of what she is reading. She is even able to tell me what she's read after reading it! On top of all that, Cristina smiles now more than I've ever seen her smile before. She's just happy! I'm really proud of her decision to take learning seriously. Now, I'm encouraging her to help those around her when they struggle. She seems to take on this new role with excitement. It also gives her more confidence in her own growth and ability. Congratulations Cristina!

Until next time, 

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