the kids

Orangethorpe Learning Center
Fun Times

"some of the news, once in a while"

2351 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, CA 92833
December 2005 - Vol. 11 No. 1

OLC's Beginnings

Continuing our celebration of the 10th anniversary of OLC's founding, we include in this issue the story of a parent of one of our very first students. The student, Kristina, was a second grader when she came to us more than ten years ago. She attends Fullerton College now. This is a speech which Kristina's mom, Margareta, prepared for a meeting of a citizens committee.

I am deaf and I have a daughter that I brought to OLC on the second day it opened. She was very interested in getting her homework done, but she always needed help. I didn’t know how to help her. A lot of children that attended were from different countries, cities, and states. When she finished her homework she would go and play games or read. After so many years she improved tremendously.

Some computers later on were given and she enjoyed using them. Many students like to play on the computers that have math games and vocabulary games. The volunteers told the children that they had to finish their homework first before going on the computer. That was influencing good habits. This made kids work harder and not slack off. My daughter is a great whiz at computers now because she started at an early age.

Kristina developed good habits from this program and passed all her classes in high school with the same good habits she developed earlier. In high school she had no problems with her academic studies because she was already prepared to do her homework daily. We still go to this day, and we help out the kids that attend there. It’s nice to see my daughter and all the other kids there grow up.

Every day I see kids need help and they improve better and better. OLC is wonderful to do your homework, to learn to use a computer, and to be away from any problems they have at home or in the neighborhood. It’s better to be at OLC than to be at home playing video games all day or socializing with other kids. If you go to learning center you can still get your homework done and then play afterwards. It’s a good benefit for a lot of kids, and it was a huge success for my daughter.

I hope this program continues for a long time because in the future there’s always going to be more kids coming and they never stop coming. A lot of parents wouldn’t be able to afford tutors and that’s a lot of issues around our neighborhood. It’s a good growing place to be. Thank you and I hope to see this OLC grow and continue to be a big success to every student that comes in. Children are our future. Thanks again.

Margareta Iancului

Margareta, making tamales

Some Lines from Lucy

In this very special season, I want to send an affectionate greeting to all the families and friends who make our escuelita a special place for the children.

This afternoon I decided to write a message for the Fun Times to share my thoughts with you and especially with the children. This year has seen many achievements; I have seen children day by day excelling and doing their homework more neatly and carefully; they eagerly await their arrival at our escuelita which always awaits them with open arms and I hope they will always carry these memories with them.

It is very important to mention that our volunteers, our sponsors and the children's parents make this place an important space which will leave its mark on the future of its children; hopefully for many years we'll be able to continue counting on the support of OUMC and OCC and of all those people who in one way or another help this program continue to be a success.

This year which is now ending has left us sadness and joy, memories and hopes and mainly a year more of life. Now we just hope that the Birth of Baby Jesus brings blessings to each one of your homes and much peace, love, health and harmony.


Lucy Ruiz

A Very Special Volunteer

This past summer, Pastor Dwight of Orangethorpe Christian Church suggested that we contact somebody who he thought would make an excellent volunteer at our escuelita -- Marlies Lunger. When we called Marlies and told her about what OLC did, she said she thought it was a wonderful idea and that she'd like to help out.

Ever since we opened in September, Marlies has been with us nearly every Monday. Not only does she help our children with their homework, but she buys and brings in tasty snacks.

Marlies tells us she was born in Germany and immigrated to England, where she lived in Cheshire for awhile before coming to the United States to work for the Disciples of Christ church in Indianapolis. She has worked as a secretary, including doing translations between English and German. Marlies is a member of Yorba Linda Presbyterian Church. Our children always enjoy going to her for help with their homework and think she is a very patient and kind teacher.

Friends of OLC

We're very grateful to the following generous friends who have recently donated funds, supplies or computer equipment to OLC:

If you have internet access, be sure to visit our web site,, where you can click on "photo album" and see pictures of ten years of OLC history.

Martha Hyde, one of OLC's founders

Fun Times is published in English and Spanish for the information of the families and friends of Orangethorpe Learning Center.

 LEER EN ESPAÑOL  Fun Times index  Next issue 
 Previous issue  OLC home page