Posts Tagged ‘spanish’

By Jim Markham. Photos by Jeannie Dortch.

At Maybeury Elementary School in western Henrico, there is a happening on Monday afternoons that resembles a mini United Nations. Ten to fifteen children, from kindergarten through the fifth grade, meet after school for about an hour to be mentored and receive help with their school work. Before the work begins, there is time for snacks and a chance to chat.

So, where does the U.N. connection come in? These children and their families are new Americans from nine different countries – Brazil, Egypt, Honduras, Iraq, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan and Ukraine. In many cases, the children have the best English-speaking skills in their families.

Children's Minister Candi Brown and a group of volunteers from FBCwork with children from international backgrounds at Maybeury Elementary School.

Last fall, Candi Brown, FBC’s Minister to Children, brought together a group of volunteers, mostly from our church, to work at Maybeury. Over the first two months, through trial and error, a system was developed and in December, the school administration took time to review how it was working. In January they decided that the children and their parents were responding well and that the program should be continued.

During a typical Monday afternoon, the enthusiasm of the children is easy to see. When one student was first asked where she was from, she responded that she didn’t know her country’s name in English, but in Spanish it is pronounced “hahn-DUR-us.” The volunteers all understood.

The volunteers spend most of their time tutoring reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also show God's love for the children.

As you might expect, most of the time is spent tutoring reading, writing (alphabet and numbers), and arithmetic. But it’s not all work. Looking around the room, one can see lots of smiles, laughter and an occasional hug – evidence of growth in a Christian environment.

For a first-hand report of what’s going on at Maybeury School on Monday afternoons, ask the volunteers for their impressions: Jeannie Dortch, Becky Goodrich, Lindsey McClintock, Candi Brown, Rachel Boykin, Bonnie Ferguson, Karin Dickerson, Inge Heidecker, and me.

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