Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mi Escuelita

Ahh, what a blissful time.
Yesterday I got to join my colleague who writes grant proposals for Buckner in the hopes that large foundations will give us money to fund our ministries. One of the foundations requested to visit our group foster care homes (the hot new trend in foster care), and she was so very impressed. The trend is now moving away from big, dorm-style orphanages and instead toward small homes where two foster parents live with eight or ten kids. We have three of them on our Buckner old campus near downtown.
Also on that campus we have a preschool called Mi Escuelita, where the cutest children you have ever seen run and play and learn English. Mi Escuelita is really a special program. There are 5 of them in Dallas, and they are pre-k for 2.5- 5 year olds who usually come in with zero English skills. By the end, they are fully fluent, have bigger vocabularies than English-born kids, and are ready to succeed in Kindergarten. I LOVE this program. Truly, it refreshed my entire soul just to watch preschoolers for fifteen minutes attempting to open string cheese and milk cartons during snack time, or sitting in a straight line "criss cross applesauce" in the hall.
Any time I get depressed about the state of the world and all the evil in it, which is often, I need to remember the tens of hundreds of thousands of people who serve others all day long, and who forego wealth or comfortable lifestyles to truly SOLVE problems in loving ways. All the problems of children in America seem overwhelming, but for these 15o kids, at least, their whole lives will be better because they speak fluent English and will not enter Kindergarten way behind.

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