Just a few days ago, we learned of a new program which St. Jude Medical Center's West Fullerton Resource Center is providing for the children of our neighborhood. Several of our OLC kids have already signed up and are learning traditional Mexican dances as a part of the Folkloric Group "Xochipitzahuatl" (Budding Flower). WFRC began its collaboration with this group in April 2000, but the group has existed since 1993.
Xochipitzahuatl was founded by Lucy Ruiz with the help of Rosemary Castro, Coordinator of the Valencia Community Center. The goals of this program are:
The dance group is offered at the Orangethorpe Christian Church two evenings per week (Wednesday 5 to 7 pm for beginners and Thursday 5 to 7 pm for intermediate/advanced). The group also participates in community-based activities such as First Night, Night in Fullerton, La Posada, Cinco de Mayo, and various performances for the Fullerton Museum Center.
For more information, please call Cristina Martínez at 441-3180.
As we've mentioned in recent issues of Fun Times, several friends of OLC have donated computer equipment to our program. We now have as many computers as will fit into the Learning Center. Our additional machines are being given to the families of children who attend OLC regularly. We hope that these families will use the machines to improve their computer skills and to explore the World Wide Web.
So that we can keep our families and friends better informed, we are starting the OLC Electronic Mailing List. At the same time as this newspaper is being mailed, we will send a message to those parents and volunteers for whom we have e-mail addresses informing them of this new network. If you have e-mail service and would like to find out more details, please send a message to the following address:
One of the many students who have enrolled recently at OLC is a young man in the 6th grade who just arrived from México. He impressed us a lot with his intelligence, his good attitude, and his desire to excel. We asked him to jot down his thoughts about his experiences in his new country. The following is what he told us:
My name is Héctor Morales, and I come from Pachuca, Hidalgo, México, where I attended Gonzalo Meléndez School. I was in the sixth grade and my teacher was named Susana. Five months ago I came to the United States with my mother, Rosa, and my little sister, María.
I was scared to go to school because I thought that everybody would speak to me in English. But much to my surprise, there were children in Mr. Prasser's class who were bilingual, and little by little, I lost my fear. When they gave me homework, I asked a classmate to help me. Friends like Sergio, Jerry and Enrique helped me a lot.
Now I'm going to another school that is called OLC. Here they help me do my homework and I am happy because I feel that I am learning more. My experience here has been to meet more friends and other teachers and to get better acquainted with the United States. It seems to me like a dream come true.--Héctor Morales.
Thank you for your article, Héctor. Thank you, also, to Héctor's mother, Rosa, who is a regular volunteer helper in our K-1 room. Héctor's English is improving rapidly and we're glad to hear that he's doing well at school.
There will be a parents meeting at Orangethorpe School on Wednesday, May 24, at 11:30 am. The main topic of the meeting will be the status of children who are at risk of retention, but parents are welcome to raise other issues. English - Spanish translation will be provided. Our friend, Vice Principal Ann Rose, hopes that the meeting will be well attended.
OLC's kindergarten and first grade room is a busy place these days, with daily attendance averaging 15 to 20 lively little people. Our Ops Assistant, Nancy Howell, does a great job of finding ways to help these children get off to a good start with math and reading. Nancy receives a lot of help from parents and other volunteers. This photo was taken on a typical day with 17 children present:
Here are three of Nancy's favorite students, Danny, Brian and Joshua:
We wish a speedy recovery to one of our kindergarten students, Elizabeth Bowman, who just had her tonsils removed. Nancy and all your friends hope you'll be back soon, Liz.
Do you need low-cost or free health insurance for your children? For information and appointments, please call Valencia Community Center at 447-7499.
The safety of the children who attend OLC is of very great importance to all of us who are involved in this program. We hope that our children will be very careful crossing the streets while they are coming and going, and also that the adults who drop off and pick up children will be very careful while driving in our parking lot.
Another aspect of safety that worries us a lot is that somebody might pick up a child from OLC at 4:30 pm some day against the wishes of the child's family.We are therefore enclosing a form for parents' signatures. If you want to have your child leave OLC only with certain persons, please fill in and sign the bottom half of the form. If it's okay for your child to leave the Learning Center by himself, or you don't care who picks him or her up, please fill in the top half. Please return the form to OLC as soon as possible.
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