Orangethorpe Learning Center
One of the three teachers whom we pay to help children with homework is Ángel Villa. He came to us a long time ago, as a kindergarten student who needed lots of help. He is now attending Cal Poly Pomona. We asked him to share his own thoughts about his experiences at Orangethorpe Learning Center...
It's 2:15, when I get to the Learning Center to open it each day. Within thirty minutes, students start to arrive. They come in, grab a snack and then sign in. Afterwards they look for their teacher for help.
When I first decided to go back as a volunteer, I was only a Freshmen at Buena Park High School. I think that it was the support and respect that was given to me when I attended the Learning Center that made me decide to return and give back that help that has been provided to me. Being a teacher at the OLC has brought me so much joy and happiness, even when certain students misbehave. I can honestly say that I can empathize with all my students.
When OLC opened in 1995, I tagged along with both my cousins and my sister (Gaby) to attend OLC. For the first three years that I went to school, I had the worst grades anyone can possibly have. It was not until my fourth grade year that I started to flourish in my education.
Both my family and myself are very much appreciative of the encouragement that OLC has furnished for both my siblings and me. Without that helping hand of OLC, I do not believe that I would have been as successful in school as I have been up to this point in my life.
When Orangethorpe Learning Center opened fifteen years ago, one of the students who came to us for help with her homework was Judith Díaz. Just a few days ago, Judith returned to OLC and enrolled her son José who is a kindergarten student at Orangethorpe School. We thank Judith for remembering OLC and for the confidence she shows by bringing her own child to us.
In our February 2009 issue, we paid tribute to one of our distinguished and dedicated volunteer tutors, Roger Davidson. Here are some of Roger's own words about serving at OLC...
I have been a tutor at Orangethorpe Learning Center for almost two years. I started tutoring April 29, 2008.
It is very rewarding to help students with their homework. Especially when a few students have a mental or physical disability. It can be a challenge! And during those times when it is harder, I just push harder and after a while, it becomes easier.
When I was growing up, between the ages of 7 and 14, I had to stay at home, and miss school, at different times due to having bad attacks of asthma. It was a difficult time, especially with lost school time. At that time, if I could have had a tutor to make up lost school time, it would have been a blessing in the early '50s. (In Jesus' name!)
Helping the Learning Center students is a delight and an enjoyable experience. I recommend it to anybody who has volunteer time. Adults, young or older (or even younger) to participate in helping our children acquire a better education by being a supportive tutor.
For their recent donations of funds, supplies and equipment to our homework center, we're very grateful to:
And we thank Joe Manson and Pastor Tom Griffith for repairing the drains around our escuelita so that we could stay open during the recent heavy rains.
We also thank our students' families for providing snacks for the children each day, and our tutor Alba for organizing the snack calendar.
Parents, you can help us make OLC a safer and happier place for its students by visiting it regularly and sharing your ideas with us. We will have a parents meeting Wednesday afternoon, February 17th, at 4:30 to hear your concerns for su escuelita and for your neighborhood. We hope everybody can attend.
Orangethorpe Learning Center is proud to have cooperated with the city Parks and Recreation department, Home Depot, and the KaBOOM! organization to design and build a playground at Olive Park, around the corner from our escuelita. Our students helped design the playground. Roger Davidson and OLC board members Carmelo Morales and Kitty Jaramillo helped build it. Our children made thank-you cards which they gave the workers on build day, November 12th.
Kids and parents, please show your appreciation by going regularly to Olive Park, at the corner of Olive and Gilbert, to enjoy using the new equipment. There's also plenty of room in the park for flipping a frisbee, kicking a football around, or for playing with your dog. And always remember to help keep your park clean!