In 2020, our team of volunteers accomplished a lot:
In the 2018-2019 school year, 65% of our tested ELL students increased their test scores at the end of the school year. And we are doing it again this year!
In January, we brought about 20 individuals and organizations together to brainstorm ways we can assist the immigrant community. It led to 3 events.
We assisted with school registration by translating documents and by assisting international parents with the registration process. We provided a safe environment for relevant conversation among diverse groups. It opened people's minds and provided new perspectives! We also offered community resources to those in need at a resource fair held in a public park.
By working with a coalition, we assisted families, who were effected by local ICE raids.
In our programs, we have added a group for international community members to combat isolation, learn about US culture, and create healthy relationships with people who have similar experiences. A trained ESL teacher leads the group, and an immigrant community member co-leads. These gatherings are important to our vision. They create a safe and informative environment for the community to embrace these individuals and for them to learn how to bolster the same community.
We have recorded educational videos at patreon.com/embracingdiversity and at "Embracing Diversity Inc" on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7XNV4xS9iTGyEI3z3Jp9Q.
April is one of the students we tutored. She was a 4th grader. Like Amy, English is not her first language. She was an English Language Learner with learning disabilities. She had been held back in the third grade. She participated in our reading and comprehension program for English Language Learners as well as the TALKS mentoring program. I was her ELL tutor. The first few weeks, she struggled greatly in reading and comprehension. She could not read or pronounce many of the words, which caused her to read very slowly and to become very frustrated. Because she had to stop so frequently, her energy was mostly spent on getting through the paragraphs, and her understanding of the text was challenged. However, within about 3 sessions, she started to improve. And with time, she could read and understand simultaneously. Sounding out the words became less difficult. And she didn’t require as much time or assistance to complete the assignments. April wants to be a teacher. During her free time, she told me that she enjoys watching the news and staying current with events. A very wise girl for her age. Her teacher tells me that she has “grown beautifully.” She has endurance like Amy and Elaine. She is confident and knows her potential.
I began working on reading with some of the children at PPES this semester. It’s been a real pleasure to watch them gain confidence in their reading skills, and to watch them open up as the semester progressed. One young man has a real talent for art. And another young lady loves science and thinks it would be wonderful to be an astronaut. One student even thinks she would make a good President one day! Their comments about the stories we read are very revealing. And I love the fact that they are gaining such confidence in themselves. It’s wonderful to see administration and instructors working so hard to help them succeed. Hopefully these programs can be expanded to help more students.
how grateful I am to have had the privilege to get to know these wonderful students and fantastic teachers and office staff!
I was assigned a student in the third grade and two in the fifth grade. The third grade student has done excellent from the beginning. I have rarely had to correct her pronunciation although at times she could pronounce the word but did not know the meaning. Her reasoning skills are good and she figures out the meaning in the context of the story. She has been a delight!
The other two students are twins! They came in with a lot less confidence although both knew more than they showed they did. I spoke Spanish with them both at the beginning just to get the nerves under control. Then they were comfortable and glad they could ask a question in their language if they did not understand. I rarely needed to speak Spanish at all after that.
Their lack of confidence seemed to slow them down with moving ahead to the next lesson. One day we did two lessons instead of one and the young boy was thrilled he did two lessons. So I asked if he wanted to try to do another lesson. He saw it as a challenge. This seemed to build his confidence to the point of not stopping after every word to ask if it was correct or not. They both needed a lot of positive and continual feedback. But once they realized they could do it without stopping, they have done really well. I’m so glad to see them so proud of their progress!"
Most of our programming is currently on pause as we take time to reflect on the best way to restructure and expand our impact. Any donations will be received with sincere gratitude and used responsibly to strengthen this process.