Just a few days ago, we got a phone call from Mr. Dave Wilk, the director of Disney GOALS, who had invited our OLC students to go skating at Disney Ice several times last year. Dave asked if we thought the children of South Fullerton would like to have a GOALS program in their community. The kids in eight neighborhoods in Anaheim and Garden Grove have been taking part in GOALS in their own areas for several years, not only going skating once a week but also improving their academic skills and taking part in community service activities. "GOALS" stands for "GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES through ATHLETICS, LEARNING and SERVICE".
We remembered how much our OLCers had enjoyed skating last year and told Dave, "Sure, our kids are ready to have GOALS come to Fullerton." At our first meeting, or "hockey class", nearly 40 boys and girls came to learn what GOALS was all about. We hope you'll all keep coming back and that each one will bring some friends. If you haven't come to a GOALS class yet, kids, ask Rogelio or Kelsey or Gabriela or Ben what they think of GOALS and skating. Remember that you must attend hockey class regularly -- 3:30 pm every Friday in the United Methodist Church's Fellowship Hall -- to be able to go to Disney Ice to learn how to skate and play hockey.
Disney GOALS is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by the Walt Disney Company to provide development opportunites for children of ages 6-19. Principal activities include sports such as hockey, after school academic sessions with hockey themes, job training and community service opportunities. All Disney GOALS activities, including transportation and equipment, are provided at no cost to the youth who enroll.
We've had several new children enroll at Orangethorpe Learning Center recently, including three who just arrived from Korea. Amy Ahn, Brian Jang and John Ahn are in the 6th, 5th and 4th grades. They're very much interested in learning to read and write well in English. They've come to OLC nearly every day since they enrolled in January and all of the volunteer tutors who help them with their homework have been very impressed with how hard they're trying to learn a strange new language and to adapt to their new surroundings.
It isn't always easy to communicate with people who don't speak much of your language. We've been really grateful to Benjamin Cho, who speaks Korean and has helped interpret Amy and Bryan and John's assignments and help the OLC volunteers make themselves understood. Thanks a lot, Ben! We're also glad to see that a lot of our OLC kids have been coming to the Korean students' table to get acquainted with them. Rogelio, Luis, Mike and Kelsey are just a few of our American children who have become good friends with the new students. We even saw Amy helping Kelsey with her homework once!
On February 14, 1995, Orangethorpe Learning Center opened its doors for the first time to the children of our neighborhood. Its purpose was, and still is, "to provide the children of our community a safe and nurturing Christian environment for them to complete homework assignments."
We celebrated our sixth birthday this month with a party. Many of the children who attend OLC now weren't even born when we started our ministry. On the first day, only two children came in to receive help with their homework. More than forty children were present at our party. We recognized three of the children who started attending OLC during its first week -- Kristina Iancului, Jesse Solares and William Solares. Willie and Jesse are in the sixth grade now and have attended OLC nearly every day since it started.
Kristina came to us in 1995 as a very small second grader and didn't forget OLC after she graduated to Nicolas Junior High School. Now she comes nearly every day as a volunteer tutor. When we asked the children if they had received help from Kristina, more than half of our students raised their hands. Some children, like Nora Matti, ask "Where's Kristina?" as soon as they arrive at OLC.
Also recognized at our party were Alejandro Rivera and Benjamin Cho, who have been especially helpful in translating for students who just arrived in this country.
Orangethorpe Learning Center gets by with a lot of help from its friends, who have supported us financially and by donating supplies and equipment. Here are the names of the people who have shown their generosity recently:
We were very pleased to be able to hire Beatrice Sermeño in December as our K/1 Tutor. Miss B had served as a volunteer since last fall and helped to make our sale of tamales a big success. She shows a lot of love and creativity in her work with our little ones.
Miss B lives a few blocks down the street from OLC and is a mother and grandmother. Her daughter Andrea helps out at OLC from time to time and her two grandsons, Israel and Solomon, have also visited us. Welcome aboard, Miss B!
We wish a speedy recovery to:
I'd like to remind all our children's families that the Learning Center's hours are 2:45 to 4:30 pm. Please do NOT come any earlier that 2:30 pm because there is nobody here to help you with homework. Also, it is nap time for the little children at the Pre School next door and you can disturb their sleep when you arrive too early. Parents please pick up your children promptly when OLC closes at 4:30.
I'm very grateful to the parents who bring snacks or who help out in the K/1 room. We always need more help. Moms, dads or grandparents -- if you would like to help make OLC run better, we can put you to work. Please ask me or Miss B what you can do.
I'm really glad to see so many children coming to OLC for help with homework. The more children who come, the more important it is for YOU to behave in a respectful manner while you're here. No fighting, yelling or other distracting behavior. I'm enclosing a copy of our rules, in both English and Spanish, and ask that each parent read them with your child to make sure he or she knows what is expected.
Este ejemplar en español
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