Orangethorpe Learning Center
On September 8, Orangethorpe Learning Center once again opened its doors to the children of our neighborhood. 36 students came in that day, bringing a lot of homework with them. Several new students arrived each day and soon we were seeing more than 50 children almost every day.
During this month of elections in California, Orangethorpe School is also holding elections. One day, after they finished their homework, several of our sixth graders were busy making campaign posters to promote their candidacies. Danielle and Janelle were both running for Class President, while Judith and Monica were running for Treasurer.
We've heard none of the nastiness from our sixth graders that we heard from the adult candidates in the California election. Although the girls are competing against one another, they all say they're still good friends with their opponents.
Soon after our learning center reopened, we began offering art classes to our children. Last year's teacher, Andrea Rose, returned and is teaching about 15 very attentive children the techniques of painting and sculpture. Perhaps some Picasso or Michelango or Kahlo of the future is even now starting to develop under Andrea's supervision. Classes are held every Tuesday afternoon in the Church Lounge, across from OLC.
Some of the parents in our neighborhood asked to have other activities made available to their children after OLC closes at 4:30 each afternoon. Rev. Teresa Santillana, the Latina Minister at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church, heard these suggestions and is working to arrange programs between 4:30 and 6:30 each afternoon for our children. So far, the following programs are available:
We hope to include a flyer with this edition of Fun Times when we mail it to our families which will give more details on these programs.
Recently, we visited the Friday dance class and saw more than 20 children, even several boys, having a great time. We noticed that even little Stephanie, who had always impressed us as being "shy", was dancing quite enthusiastically.
If you live in zip code 92833, you need to know about these free programs:
During our first weeks this fall, we've seen several of OLC graduates return, as volunteer tutors, to help their little friends, brothers and sisters, and neighbors, such as:
It makes us feel good to know that you haven't forgotten OLC now that you're going to high school or junior high, or even taking chemistry classes at Fullerton College. Way to go, Kristina!
We've also been impressed, very much, by Dulce Morena Rivera, who is a 9th grader at Buena Park High School. Dulce has been at OLC nearly every afternoon, helping our students. She says she'll soon be moving to Bakersfield with her family. We'll miss you very much, Dulce!
We're very fortunate to have several students come to us from Kathi Johnson's ESL class at Fullerton College to help our children. These students come from several different countries and have made a big difference on the days when they've been with us.
Last year's 5th/6th Grade Tutor, Layla Dang, had class schedule conflicts at Cal State Fullerton and could not return this Fall. We thank Layla for all she did for us over the past two years and wish her well in her studies.
Our new 5th/6th Tutor, who will alternate with Lauren Bonecutter, is Patricia Lee, who came to us as a volunteer from Fullerton College. Patricia is from Taiwan, where she earned a teaching credential at the Taipei Teachers College, and where she taught in elementary schools for 13 years. Patricia has a lot of enthusiasm and says she really enjoys helping our children.
It's time once again for Orangethorpe Learning Center's annual fundraiser -- a gigantic tamale sale. If you have students at OLC, you just received a letter from four of our leaders, inviting you to join them in the kitchen to make tamales. This is too big a job for a small group of moms and grandmas to do by themselves. We hope that each mom, and some dads too, will find it possible to come in and work a few hours with Bertilia, Margareta, Julia and Estela. They plan to begin production on Monday, October 27.
If you're a member or friend of one of our sponsoring churches, we hope you'll be willing to purchase a few dozen tasty tamales when they go on sale. We also invite you to come to the OUMC kitchen while we're making tamales to learn first-hand how it's done. You'll have a new appreciation for how hard our families are willing to work to make it possible for their children to continue having a good place to go each afternoon to do their homework.
We urge all of our friends to help us raise the funds we need to keep OLC going, not only by buying or making tamales yourselves, but also by asking your neighbors or co-workers to buy a few dozen tamales. As usual, we'll have pork, chicken and sweet tamales available.
We are very grateful to the following generous friends who have recently donated funds, supplies or computer equipment to OLC: